September 2018 FREE Magazine
*Northwest Health Physiciansâ€™ Specialty Hospital is owned, in part, by physicians.
D. Heath Stacey, MD
J. Alex Kelamis, MD
Annual Open House THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 27th 3-6 P.M.
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At Pediatric Dental Associates and Orthodontics youâ€™ll discover that we go the extra mile for our patients! From the moment you see our office, youâ€™ll know what we mean. We have a fully themed environment that is comforting and fun for your children. We offer preventive, restorative, and orthodontic services for kids ages 0-18. We also specialize in dental care for children with special needs.
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We accept all insurances and we are in-network with Delta Dental, Cigna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, ARKids, Delta Dental Smiles, and MCNA. September 2018
Family KIMBERLY ENDERLE Editor-in-Chief email@example.com | 479-957-0532
JONATHON ENDERLE Creative Director firstname.lastname@example.org | 479-586-3890
Kim and Jonathon with Gwen, Holden, Grant and Ava Enderle. PHOTO BY ASHLEY MURPHY IMAGES
FRANCES WILSON Assistant Editor
DISTRIBUTION/ CIRCULATION Joyce Whitaker Judy Evans Marcedalia Salinas
Jeremy Whitaker Michelle Dodson
BEN LACY Dadâ€™s View
Peekaboo Publications PO Box 1036 Bentonville, Arkansas 72712 Please send inquiries to: email@example.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
6 September 2018
MEAGAN RUFFING Columnist
DAVID HOVEY Story Design
When children need medical attention, they deserve special treatment. Northwest Pediatric Convenient Care is making it easier for children to get well, with our Urgent Care online check-in. The next time your child experiences an illness or injury, visit our website, answer a few questions, and pick a time that’s convenient for you. We’ll save your spot in line, before you arrive. It’s that easy. A team of skilled providers will then deliver the care your child needs in a comforting environment designed just for kids. To check in, visit NW-Physicians.com. Monday-Saturday: 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday: 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
479-751-2522 3057 Springdale Ave. Springdale, AR 72762
HERE TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR KIDS
DAY AND NIGHT. Because our Urgent Care staff must treat patients based on the severity of illness or injury, your time is not guaranteed. We will see you as close to your designated time as possible. If your child’s symptoms worsen or you believe they are experiencing a life-threatening emergency, please call 911 or go to the nearest Emergency Department as soon as possible. peekaboonwa.com
Whether you need prenatal care, an annual preventive exam, or gynecological screenings, Willow Creek Women’s Clinic is here for you. We also provide family planning and postpartum care as well as gynecological services for adolescents. For more information, visit WillowCreekWomensCare.com, or call 479-777-3632 to ask about same-day appointments.
4301 Greathouse Springs Rd., Suite 100 Johnson, AR 72762 Jan Furniss, M.D. Board-Certified OB/GYN
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DEDICATED TO WOMEN’S UNIQUE NEEDS AT
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Members of the Medical Staff at Willow Creek Women’s Hospital.
From the moment your baby is born through childhood and adolescence, your relationship with a skilled and caring pediatrician is crucial to the health and wellbeing of your child. That’s why it’s so important to find a pediatrician who makes you feel comfortable and confident every step of the way. At our Northwest Physicians practices, we focus on providing preventive care, such as routine checkups, sports and school physicals, immunizations, allergy care, and diagnosis and treatment of childhood illnesses. Ask about our same-day or next-day appointments. To learn more or find a location near you, visit NW-Physicians.com.
WE’RE WITH YOU
EVERY INCH OF THE WAY. Mark Lovell, M.D.
The Children’s Clinic at Har-Ber Meadows 6636 W. Sunset Ave., Suite A Springdale, AR 72762 Mon.-Thur.: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Fri.: 8 a.m.-Noon
Laurie Anderson, M.D.
April Durham, M.D.
The Children’s Clinic at Springdale 3057 Springdale Ave. Springdale, AR 72762 Mon.-Fri.: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Members of the Medical Staff of Northwest Health.
Clover Community School
22 26 28 32 38 42 46 48 54
by: Amy Grigg
by: Meagan Ruffing
Hometown Heroes: Elza R. Tucker by:Terra Stanley
Dadâ€™s View with Ben Lacy
Soo-Uh-Side #LetsTalkAboutIt by: Christina Melo
Harper and DDX3X by: Ashley Chastain
Heroes Among Us by: Mandy Brashear
Robotic Surgery Technology by: Northwest Health
The 411 on Molluscum by: Dr. Joseph Blackmon
The Adoptive Mom by: Kathleen Barnes
The Family Behind Mathers Jiu-Jitsu by: Tony Mathers
56 On the cover: John Brashear, Mandy McDonald Brashear, and Anna and Grace McDonald of Rogers. Photos by: Main Street Studios mainstreetstudios.net 10 September 2018
Tips for Families from a Mom of Eight by: Ann Meythaler
Cover Sponsored by: Northwest Health www.northwesthealth.com
No matter how small, every EMERGENCY is a
BIG DEAL Arkansas Childrenâ€™s Northwest is the only pediatric emergency room in the region.
Peace of Mind
(479) 725-6977 | archildrens.org/emergency 2601 Gene George Blvd., Springdale, AR 72762 Across from Arvest Ballpark in Springdale, Don Tyson Pkwy. Exit 70
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From the Editor
HERE IS A LOOK AHEAD! _____________________________ OCTOBER is our ‘mother’s of multiples’ issue! Do you have twins or triplets and want to see them featured & share your tale of life with multiples? Email to email@example.com by September 10th. NOVEMBER is our annual adoption issue! We want to feature as many families as possible. For details, email firstname.lastname@example.org by September 30th.
ello, September! Fall is in the air, and I couldn’t be happier. While I love summer, by the time the heat peaks in August, I am so ready to move on to the next season. When I find myself sweating (and even overheating) just walking my four little ducklings across the parking lot from the store to the car, I start craving the crisp, cool air that only fall can bring. September also means that school is in full swing, and that everyone is (hopefully) back into the routine of all that it brings. Unfortunately, it also brings up fears of “what could be” that have played out in the news. Last month, Elm Tree Elementary school in Bentonville had a scare when a heavy door fell in a bathroom. The noise sent everyone’s hearts racing (rightfully so!) and they went into lockdown. Since this is the ‘hometown heroes’ issue, it is only fitting that I share about that incident, though not in my words--in the words of a mom, Kim Lowe, whose daughter was inside the school. “I got a call from Zak this afternoon. He told me about witnessing the first responders showing up to the school right after the bell rang. One officer sped up, jumped out, threw on her tactical vest, had her weapons, and ran straight into the school. She never hesitated. I couldn’t help but break down, hearing him tell me what he witnessed. As soon as the ‘all clear’ was given and the officers went to their vehicles, he got out of his truck to thank her. He shook her hand and said, ‘Thank you. My daughter goes to school here. Thank you for keeping our children safe.’ The officer acted like it was just an ordinary day at the office. Though it turned out to be a false alarm, it’s really SO MUCH MORE than 12 September 2018
that. Unfortunately, threats and shootings like these are all too real in today’s society. You have to have your head on a swivel and your ears open. I thank God for the Bentonville Police Department and their quick response. I thank God for my daughter’s teacher, who kept the class calm amidst fears of her own. My daughter said she held back tears. She also said a little girl ran down the hallway from the restroom during the drill and a police officer found her. He scooped her up in his arms and comforted her while he was running her back to her classroom. I can’t even begin to imagine. Heroes come in many forms, and during this event superheroes were not only our faculty, staff, and of course, the BPD, but they were also our kids— kindergarteners through fourth graders. Most were scared; some showed it, and others didn’t. Children are stronger and braver than many of us give them credit for. - Kim Lowe I am inspired by each of the stories shared with Peekaboo in this annual hometown heroes issue. The men and women who keep our community (and country) safe all seem so invincible - real-life superheroes. This month, as we take time to reflect on the sacrifices these amazing people make for us, take a moment to introduce them to your children. Schedule a visit with one of your local fire stations or police stations for a tour. Or, take a special treat to a family you know who has a mom or dad serving in the military, just to let them know that their sacrifice is not going unnoticed. Finally, volunteer! Help your child find a way to do their own “super work” around their home, neighborhood, or town. -Kim
Beautifully by: Amy Grigg Two words that describe our life right now:
I know... is there anything in this world that you would call beautiful, yet horrific? Me, neither. That’s why I must believe our present situation has a hint of the “other-worldly” to it. It’s the beautiful part. But first, I’ll explain the horrific. My husband, Donnie, and I have three beautiful children. Titus is our oldest, at almost 15, Anna is 12, and Christian is 10. In 2010, we were living our life as any family in the Piney Woods of East Texas. My husband served as the executive pastor at our church, and life was a crazy frenzy of activity with a 6-, 3-, and 1-year-old. Our world came to a screeching halt, however, the day we heard the words from our radiologist (who also happened to be our friend) that Titus had a brain tumor, and needed to be rushed to Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston. Afterwards, he wrapped his arms around us and prayed for our journey ahead. We sat, wide-eyed and stunned. The next morning, our kindergartener, who should have been learning his ABC’s, was wheeled away from us and prepped for brain surgery. The diagnosis delivered a few days later was Medulloblastoma - the most common, fastestgrowing brain tumor in children. The treatment protocol would dictate our lives over the next several months: radiation five days per week for 14 September 2018
six weeks, and high-dose chemotherapy for four months to follow. Let me add that Titus is one of the strongest-willed people I have ever met. We joked, but it’s the honest truth that he could never be a poster child for any hospital marketing. He did not take his treatments easily. The hospital and anything to do with it was extremely traumatic and difficult for him to endure. He hated every single second of it. The moment we were released from the hospital (after four months of being away from home), we literally ran out of the doors to our packed and waiting car. We sped home as fast as our car would drive, throwing up the ‘deuces’ sign to the hospital, never glancing one time in the rearview mirror. The next phase of life meant embracing a new normal and realizing all the horrible things that cancer left in its wake. All five of us experienced trauma, and clumsily moved forward in life. Titus experienced various residual effects from the protocol used to save his life. We had to adjust to life together after getting through a truly horrible battle. Time marched on, and we continued with follow-up scans; at first every three months, and then every six. During this time, my husband and I sensed from the Lord that
we were going to be moving and starting a church. We resisted for quite some time (because what sane person even considers such a thing?), but, to make a long story short, it became clear that we were to return to our hometown of Fayetteville to plant Vertical Community Church. Never in a million years did we see ourselves coming back here, but – GOD (that’s part of the beautiful I’m getting to). We moved here in August 2014, and, in October of the same year, Titus and I drove down to TCH for what was to be his very last scan. We high-fived the nurses, telling them this was it, almost five years of no recurrence, and we had moved, so, “SEE YA!” Then, our oncologist walked in the room where we waited and said, “There’s something on the scan--we need to do a biopsy.” This time, the news was a far deeper, harder, more excruciating gut-punch than the first diagnosis. You see, with Medulloblastoma, doctors throw everything they have at the cancer the first time. If it comes back, there isn’t much they can do. Turns out, it was indeed a dreaded recurrence, and options were limited. After much praying and waiting for him to recover from the biopsy, we headed back to Houston for a few rounds of radiation. When we returned home, he began taking frankincense orally three times a day. We transferred his care to Arkansas Children’s in Little Rock and began follow-up scans. For two years, scans were clear,
and then, in October of 2016, we met with the doctor. He showed us four spots on his brain where the cancer had returned yet again. At that point, we were given very little hope. We could try some chemo, and maybe prolong his time with us a little longer. By this time, Titus was no longer a 6-year-old child. He was a 13-year-old teenager with a huge history of dealing with disease and zero desire to treat it with chemo or radiation of any kind. We agonized, wept, and talked to him very openly about the choices and the real possibilities. I asked the doctor what to expect if we said no to treating it with “traditional” treatments. He said he had never seen anyone choose that with their child.... whoa. After much prayer and discussion, the three of us made the best decision we knew to make--one that gave us the most peace. We decided to treat Titus holistically. We were certain that if we took the path of PICC lines and hospitals, we would lose him – the beautiful, true heart of Titus. Perhaps his body would still be going through the motions, but we wouldn’t have our son. We determined that his happiness and ability to ‘do life,’ even if for a shorter time, was more important than keeping him physically with us longer. We didn’t know
Turn the page
what to expect, and the doctors didn’t either. We determined to live one day at a time, enjoying what we have together. Many of our friends, family, and strangers (maybe some of you reading) contributed to send our family on a Christmas getaway to Colorado. As far as we knew, it would be our last Christmas together. I wish I had more space to tell every detail of how God showed up in that time the five of us had together. It was pictureperfect, and glorious in every way. When we returned, life continued. Titus played basketball, went to school, and fought/played with his siblings. He spent the night with friends and had friends spend the night. He learned to play drums, and did pretty much every other normal thing a 14-year-old does. All of this happened while we applied the discipline that sustained us since 2010 - truly living one day at a time. When thoughts, doubts, and fears tried to creep in, we reminded ourselves that ‘today is a good day. We are all here today.’ At the beginning of this summer, we started noticing that Titus wanted to nap every day. Okay, no big deal. Lots of teenagers nap and lay around. Then, his eyes started giving him trouble, then his ear, then an episode one night that really scared us. We realized the time had come to talk him in for a check-up. A dreaded scan brings on very real “scanxiety” when you realize the course of your life could change again with one phone call. The call came while we were in Walmart on the daily errands of a busy family (of course). The doctor graciously called back after I managed to pay for my groceries (I think) and head to the car. He delivered the news: not only had the tumors grown, but there were more. He said the words that I’ve known since January 2010 could be a possibility, but never wanted to be spoken about my child. Although I have comforted, cried with, and held hands of moms who’ve heard those words, it’s never been my boy. After eight years of this fight, I thought maybe, just maybe, he would escape and live to tell the story of his three-time victory over brain cancer. This is where the story gets as horrific as it can. Breaking the news to our children has been, to date, the most horrible thing we have ever had to do. It was hell on earth, and it’s never been more apparent in our lives that this world is broken. My soul is screaming, “THIS IS NOT THE WAY IT’S SUPPOSED TO BE!” Separation, saying goodbye, fear of the unknown, the agony of watching my child suffer again. After Titus spent some time alone at a nearby 16 September 2018
pond, the beautiful part of this story began to unfold. Donnie went to sit with him, and there, under the shade of a tree, Titus began speaking. Nothing in my husband’s 18 years of ministry prepared him to speak to his own son about going to heaven. In the beautiful way only God can, He put a supernatural peace, calm, and longing for heaven in our 14-year-old boy. Titus asked the hard questions, then concluded aloud that we aren’t made for this world. This is not our home, but merely a breath, and then eternity. When they returned home a while later, we cried big tears, sobbed huge sobs, and then... went for ice cream. At the ice cream shop, we cried some more. And laughed. We talked about who Titus would get to see and who would greet him upon his arrival into heaven. It was weird, hard, and so good. That night, back at home, Titus asked to watch the movie Hillsong, about the popular worship band from Australia. He loves playing the cajon in our church band, and loves to dream about being in a band one day, so he strongly connects to the music and message of the movie. As I cleaned the kitchen, I heard him singing along with the movie to the song “Oceans.” I walked around the corner to see him lying in the living room chair, singing and raising his hands in worship. “Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me, in oceans deep, my faith will stand…” I grabbed my phone and hit record as he worshipped, still with hands raised, “My soul will rest in Your embrace. For I am Yours and You are mine…” My audible sobs can be heard on the recording, because what I witnessed does not fit into any box my mind can fathom, except for supernatural. Seeing “God with us” - Emmanuel. The Bible says, “He is near to the broken-hearted,” and I tell you as an eye-witness: Jesus was in our living room that night. And He has not, for one moment, left our side. Is it hard? No. It’s IMPOSSIBLE. I can’t speak to anyone of the conversations my husband and I have had to have. It’s unbearable, it’s horrific. But Titus... the peace, the joy that radiates out of him on a daily basis when he speaks of a place with no pain, no fear, no tears... it’s beautiful. It’s Jesus. When my eyes behold his spirit in the midst of all of this, it is faith, made sight. I see in him the answer to prayers many have prayed over many years for our family. It’s not that God hasn’t heard and answered those prayers. Indeed, He is answering them right before our eyes. God transformed my once terrified little 6-year-old (rightly scared, after all he endured) into the strongest man I have ever met (followed closely by his daddy). He is, of course,
as anyone would be, scared of the process. But he is also confident that when he says goodbye to this earth, he says an immediate hello to Jesus. That is healing. That is strength. That is peace. Titus feels really good right now, and wants to go and do as much as possible. So he is! The other day, during coffee together, I commented how I’d love Jesus to just pull up a chair to the table, show us the blueprints for this life we are living and say, “Okay, I’m taking Titus to heaven now, but here’s why, and how it’s all gonna play out…” My son shook his head, looked at me and said, “Mom, remember Brandon Burlsworth’s [his hero!] mom didn’t know why her son died. Twenty years later, his story touched and changed my life and outlook.” Okay, kid. Let me close my mouth and follow your example. Simple trust. That was a good moment.
We have some of those. Then we went shopping for gifts to leave for his brother and sister and wept together. Beautifully horrific. A friend of mine who’s seen more than her fair share of heartache shared this verse with me last December: “I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden wealth of secret places…” (Isaiah 45:3). We understand that anyone would take pity on our horrific situation, but this verse puts words to what we are experiencing; treasures and wealth that even Titus says he wouldn’t trade. He knows it’s exactly his circumstance that made him the amazing person he is today. I realize it may be hard to understand, and, unless you have experienced tragedy, you may not. That’s okay. Just know Jesus gives treasures in darkness, hidden wealth in secret places, and beauty in the most horrific spaces. On August 17th, TItus was awarded the “Burlsworth Courage Award” by the Brandon Burlsworth Foundation. Ever since Titus saw the movie Greater, he has been inspired to live his life “the Burls way”. This award recognized that, indeed, he has accomplished that goal and followed well in the footsteps of his hero!
• School Assemblies & Workshops • Special Events & Camps • Corporate/Non-Profit Presentations • Awesome Party Concept
EDUCATIONAL ENTERTAINMENT FOR ALL AGES! www.super-sci.com • 479-444-0303
Play = Learning Make playtime a learning adventure with the Scott Family Amazeum’s Early Learner Programs. September’s theme: Construction Zone Make curiosity about materials and tools the foundation for building new skills as your child explores through building and designing. September 12 – Build a bright future at Baby Buds - designed for children 6 to 17 months and adult caregiver. September 19 – Develop language and motor skills at Discovery Tots – created for children 18 to 36 months and adult caregiver. September 26 – Grow curiosity at Great Pretenders – developed for children 3 to 5 years and adult caregiver. Saturday, September 29, 10 to 11:30 am – Make It Yourself Workshop This family workshop experience for children 3 to 6 years old and an adult caregiver is driven by each child’s natural curiosity and focused on making things with real materials and tools.
Advanced registration and payment required. Discounts on Early Learner Programs for Amazeum members. Find information on all our education programs at amazeum.org/programs. Photo courtesy of Lisa Mac Photography.
W E LC O M E S
Robin Hudson, MD and her families
2900 Medical Center Parkway, Suite 370 | Bentonville AR, 72712 479-282-2966
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Clover Community School:
A New Type of Learning Environment in Northwest Arkansas by: Meagan Ruffing
on’t be surprised if you are greeted by ‘Jenny the chicken’ when you get out of your car at Clover Community School. This new school, that “activates the mind through the power of nature and community,” opened this past August, and is making its much-needed, all-inclusive, educational mark in Northwest Arkansas. “When you look at a field of clovers and find that special one, it’s exciting,” says Kimberly Parker, cofounder of Clover Community School. “Kind of like our kids here. They’re all very special.” With a population exceeding 30,000 people in Bentonville, it’s a breath of fresh air to see a school where students’ differences are celebrated rather than criticized. The need for an all-inclusive learning environment is something Northwest Arkansas could, and should, benefit from. Sharon Bense, one of Northwest Arkansas’ “Elementary Schools Teacher of the Year” in 2015,
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agrees that it’s time. “We started this school to serve kids who learn differently. [NWA] is underserved in the variety of schools it has. Kimberly and I saw, first-hand, students being under-served. We held public meetings to determine interest, as well as get opinions and ideas, and it seemed there was a huge interest for something different!” The school provides a private, K-8 education with an 8:1 student-to-teacher ratio. Sharon will be the primary teacher, and has hired one teaching assistant. They have room for up to 12 students, and will hire an additional assistant if needed. “We’d like to add a class every year,” says Kimberly, “eventually capping out between 40-50 students.” “We just happened to find this amazing farm,” explains Sharon, “which led us to research animal therapy and time spent outdoors learning in nature--often called ‘forest schooling’.” A farmhouse-turned-schoolroom is the main area where kids will learn, but there are several freestanding buildings on the property where classes
will be held as well. Perhaps one of the neatest buildings is the STEAM (Science, Technology, Education, Arts, and Math) Lab, where Mr. Bob Byers will be teaching students how to build wooden crates through hands-on learning. This lab will be available in the near future. The idea is to take the vegetables the students have grown in their on-site garden, put them in the wooden crates they have built, and take them to the Farmer’s Market, downtown, on the square. Essentially, this takes the learning process full circle. The kids get to work on their social skills, while earning money for things they decide they want to do with their “fun” money back at the school. “We had always envisioned doing place-based education, but the farm really pulled it all together perfectly,” says Sharon. “Also, having community in our name was important, because we also want to engage the community in a variety of ways.” The entire school sits on a working farm with many animals. Students are encouraged to do most of their learning outside (weather permitting) and tend to the farm’s animals. In addition to the garden, STEAM Lab and chicken coop, the school is equipped with several outdoor
swings, a play structure, and a wide-open space to hang hammocks for the students. This type of learning environment is unprecedented in Northwest Arkansas, and will serve those families who are looking for a top-notch education where their kids won’t simply “fall through the cracks” because their behaviors might be different from those of their peers. Clover Community School is paving the way for a new kind of teaching; a place where every child has the right to sit in a class and be welcomed, not only for their differences, but also for their unique ability to see the world in a different way. “The learning program at Clover places an emphasis on every aspect of a student’s growth and development – mind, body, emotional and social,” which is why Sharon and Kimberly are considered hometown heroes. It’s time to make a difference for the children who can’t advocate for themselves. It’s time for an educational shift in northwest Arkansas. To be part of the great things going on at Clover, apply for admission, or schedule a tour, visit www. clovercommunityschool.org or call (479) 2822571. Classes are Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and admission is open to students of all abilities.
HOMETOWN HEROES ELZA R. TUCKER Story by: Terra Stanley
emember when you were in school, and your teacher would ask you to write about your hero? Well, most kids would write about someone famous, but not me. I never wrote about the most popular actor or actress, or even the most popular singer at the time. Nope, mine was always someone very near and dear to my heart. The Oxford Dictionary defines a hero as “a person who is admired for their courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities.” These, my friends, are exactly the traits that my hero was bestowed with. See, my hero is my grandpa, who I call Pa. Others know him better as Elza Tucker. My Pa was born on July 13, 1918, in the small town of Lowell. At an early age, he would help his father take mail to the local train depot for pick up, and work on the family farm. His very first job was at the Lowell Canning Company in 1936. This was the same year that Social Security cards were first distributed in the United States. In December of 1941, just after the Depression, my Pa made the decision to join the U.S. Army. He was placed in the 2nd Armored Division, known as “Hell on Wheels,” and was under the command of General George S. Patton. He told me that when Pearl Harbor occurred, he was in basic training at Ft. Knox. It wasn’t long after that that his unit was shipped to Europe to fight in War World II. During his time overseas, he fought in France, Africa, Sicily, Belgium, Holland, and on Omaha Beach on D-Day. When he spoke of D-Day, he could vividly remember how red the water was with blood. Over 2,000 U.S. soldiers died at Omaha Beach. My Pa, Staff Sgt., Tucker, however, was not one of them. God spared his life, knowing that he would go on to do many remarkable things with his life. And that is just what he did. He promised God that if he made it out of the war alive, he would be a Godly man. And that’s just what he was. On Dec. 30, 1944, my Pa married my Granny, Doris Shaver. They settled back down in the
22 September 2018
city of Lowell, and later had two sons. He was commissioned as postmaster of Lowell in April 1948 by President Harry S. Truman, and served in that position for five years. He continued working as a rural route mail carrier for 31 years before he retired. Retirement, however, just wasn’t for him, so he helped organize the Lowell Fire Department in 1973. He also worked as a volunteer fireman at the department for 20 years. Afterwards, he worked at the City of Lowell as an animal control officer for 10 years. During all this time, he was also a judge on the Benton County Quorum Court in 1966, a deacon at the First Baptist Church of Lowell, helped organize the Lowell Museum, and worked on the Planning Commission and City Council. In his spare moments, he still made time to be a part of his sons’ lives. He coached Little League baseball and volunteered with 4-H. Now, fast forward a bit. You would have thought that by the age of 75 he’d be ready to slow down and finally retire… wrong! He stayed active with his church and the community. He also never missed my softball games or award ceremonies. A couple of years later, he was honored to have a school named after him in Lowell – Elza R. Tucker Elementary. He loved going to the school and being with the kids. So, was he ready to retire? Not quite. At the age of 85, he was hired at Arvest Bank of Lowell to greet customers and pop popcorn on Fridays. It was often said that more people would come into the bank just to see him and get popcorn than actually do business. If that
wasn’t enough, he also took on the job of working at the Lowell Museum. He loved telling residents and out-oftowners the history of Lowell. All of his many contributions to his community earned him the nickname of “Mr. Lowell.” It wasn’t until the ripe old age of 98 that he finally decided to rest. And rest he did – deservedly so. Two years later, on July 13, 2018, he celebrated his 100th birthday. This had been a goal of his for years. How does one live that long, you might ask? It was by working hard, living for the Lord, and loving his community, friends, and family. At his funeral, just two weeks after his 100th celebration, many came to celebrate the life of my Pa. The words I heard so often to describe him was “hero,” “heavenly man,” “greatest man I’ve ever known,” and “there will never be another man like him.” Can you imagine leaving that kind of impact on another person, much less a community and our country? He left behind quite a legacy, and definitely some
big shoes to fill. I can’t tell you how many times throughout my life that I prayed to God, thanking him for such an amazing grandpa. I now know that not only did he mean the world to his family, but he was loved and cherished by so many others. So, when it came time to write reports on who my hero was, it was all too clear who I’d pick. Honestly, it was one of the easiest assignments I’d ever had. I tried to let my Grandpa know often that I was definitely one of his biggest fans. For all of you out there who knew him, or would just like to give back, Mayor Eldon Long of Lowell proclaimed July 13th of each year “Elza R. Tucker Day.” On this day, Mayor Long urges people to mirror my Grandpa’s life and dedicate this day by giving back to friends and neighbors. Volunteer, pay it forward, greet someone with a smile, etc. Everyone can use a great role model and friend. I thank God that I had the best! Until I see you again, Pa!
COMING SOON TO NWA! Let us get under your skin! Things are about to get bigger and better for our patients in Northwest Arkansas! We are bringing new doctors, new treatments, and a brand new facility to the Bella Vista area! Dr. Natalie Steinhoff
Dr. Michael Garone
500 S. 52nd Street | 599 Horsebarn Road | 479.254.9662 | hullderm.com | store.hullderm.com Rogers | Bella Vista | Springdale | Eureka Springs
What events can cause PTSD in children:
Living through events such as sexual or physical abuse or other violent crimes. Disasters such as floods, school shootings, car crashes, or fires might also cause PTSD. Other events that can cause PTSD are war, a friend’s suicide, or seeing violence in the area they live.
Risk factors for PTSD:
Two factors have been shown to raise the chances that children will get PTSD. These factors are: - How severe the trauma is - How the parents react to the trauma - Multiple exposures to traumatic events
Children that experience the most severe traumas tend to have the highest levels of PTSD symptoms. The PTSD symptoms may be less severe if the child has both family and community supports. What does PTSD look like in children: Children often show signs of PTSD in their play. They might keep repeating a part of the trauma. These games do not make their worry and distress go away. For example, a child might always want to play shooting games after he sees a school shooting. Children may also fit parts of the trauma into their daily lives. For example, a child might carry a gun to school after seeing a school shooting. Children with PTSD often struggle with fear, worry, sadness, anger, feeling alone and a part from others, feeling as if people are looking down on them, low self-worth, and not being able to trust others. Other behaviors such as aggression, out-of-place sexual behavior, selfharm, and abuse of drugs or alcohol can also occur in children suffering with PTSD.
How is PTSD treated in children: For some children, PTSD symptoms go away on their own after a few months. Yet some children show symptoms for years if they do not get treatment. There are many treatment options, described below:
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) CBT is an effective approach for treating children. One type of CBT is called Trauma-Focused CBT (TF-CBT). In TF-CBT, the child may talk about his or her memory of the trauma. TF-CBT also includes techniques to help lower worry and stress. The child may learn how to assert himself or herself. The therapy may involve learning to change thoughts or beliefs about the trauma that are not correct or true. For example, after a trauma, a child may start thinking, “the world is totally unsafe.”
Play therapy Play therapy can be used to treat young children with PTSD who are not able to deal with the trauma more directly. The therapist uses games, drawings, and other methods to help children process their traumatic memories.
Other treatments Special treatments may be needed for children who show out-of-place sexual behaviors, extreme behavior problems, or problems with drugs or alcohol. If you believe your child is experiencing signs of PTSD, watch for signs such as sleep problems, anger, and avoidance of certain people or places. Also watch for changes in school performance and problems with friends.
For more information about PTSD and mental health services for your child, contact Absolute Pediatric Therapy at (479) 250-4355 or by visiting absolutepediatrics.com Absolute Pediatric Therapy (APT) was founded with the sole purpose of providing children an opportunity to achieve their full potential while receiving individualized therapy services in a positive, natural, and caring environment. APT is the only provider in the state to offer a full continuum of diverse therapeutic services to ensure our families are not having to bounce from provider to provider to get the necessary services for their children. APT is comprised of licensed professionals who work together to bring you the highest quality of Speech, Occupational, Developmental, Physical, Psychological, and Mental Health Therapy Services.
Absolute Pediatric Therapy recently celebrated our ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY.
One year ago, Absolute Pediatric Therapy set out on a mission to prove that quality, ethical and accessible therapeutic treatment was possible. Over the past year, APT has established Speech, Occupational, Physical Therapy, Early Interventions, Mental Health Counseling, Play Therapy, and full Psychological Testing, and Evaluation services. In one year, we have offered services to over 600 families and over 1,000 hours of therapeutic services to children... our APT superheroes each week. By definition, superheroes are larger than life, courageous, powerful, and seemingly able to overcome any obstacle with great physical prowess while doing great deeds at the same time! And that is exactly how we see each child at APT. In the past year, we have watched children, such as Leighton Harper make amazing progress while receiving services from APT. As an infant, Leighton underwent a heart transplant. He was deemed as "failure to thrive." Leighton was said to be incapable of "intelligible or meaningful speech." Unwilling to compromise quality care, Leighton's mom, Laine Virtue Harper, and family have been seeking quality services for Leighton for several years. Leighton's family went through at least FOUR other providers before finding Absolute. In his short 9 years of life, he has proven to be a fighter. Against all odds, and the nay-sayers who doubted his ability to succeed, Leighton continues to make amazing progress. Recently, Leighton began to say the words "more spin" -- absolutely amazing! Leighton is a true Superhero!
If you would like more information about Absolute Pediatric Therapy Contact LaDonna Humphrey at 479-250-4355 or at email@example.com
Absolute Pediatric Therapy | 2713 SE I Street #5 | Bentonville, Arkansas | (479) 250-4355
Travelin’, Man I travel quite a bit. Mostly to New York City, which is about one percent as glamorous as that image in your head. True, it is a glorious adventure to gallop around Gotham – once – but I’ve now logged over 100 trips to Yankeeville, and wouldn’t mind a change of scenery. Oh, and if any of you throw a little “poor little dude has to go to New York all the time” shade my way, let me remind you... I’m flying in planes that were built right after the Wright Brothers, and I’m required to spend significant time in LaGuardia Airport – a facility not even Mr. LaGuardia would dare enter. But, for those of us folk who favor consistency, repetition and the bland monotony of doing the same thing over and over and over again, it works! Because I’ve got the
trip down pat, down to the minute and the second. Each detail is easy since I’ve done it – literally – a hundred times. Not so when traveling with the whole fam damily! As the saying goes: Man plans; God laughs. Ah yes, once again, the Lacys embarked on a perilous journey across this great nation to faroff reaches with sandy beaches. Despite our travel history, warning signs and a Biblical-level plague (Red Tide, anyone?) we surged forth with wild and reckless abandon. Okay, that’s not true. I’m a big planner, so I made a valiant (but failed) attempt to organize the minions. The thought being, a family vacation should be just as easy, regimented and organized as my repetitive business trips, right? Wrong. And, although the inmates are back in
Family Law · Criminal Law · Business Law www.danielsonlawfirm.com | 479.935.8313
26 September 2018
the asylum (AKA kids are back in school); the memories and maladies of summer vacation are still fresh in our minds. First off, seating arrangements. I’m more than a bit superstitious, especially when traveling on rickety old machines built by the lowest bidder, so I try to sit in or around the same seat each time. Again, consistency and repetition are my spirit animals. Trying to go 5-wide with the fam usually results in a “take what you can get” scenario with seating assignments. It also usually results in me taking my seat in 15A with the assumption the kids will know their seats are next to me - only to soon find them wallowing around in row 33 trying to find me. And, as you know, the average traveler is SUPER stoked to allow three overly chatty tikes with roll-aboard suitcases and Navy Seal-sized backpacks swim upstream nearly 20 rows to find their seats. Next up, connections. Traveling solo, I can have dinner, walk across four terminals, get a haircut, and have my shoes shined, all with a 50-minute layover. With the family, a 3-hour layover results in a Usain Bolt-esque final sprint to make it to the gate on time. Why? Glad you asked. Because, evidently, my daughter has invented a new eleventh commandment that states, “Thou shalt not pass
by any Starbucks without purchasing a drink that takes at least three minutes to order.” Speaking of food and drink, I almost got to find out if there really is airport jail. Nothing major, just a potential in-flight eruption when they ran out of Biscoff cookies. One of the urchins really has a thing for them, and it didn’t go well when he found out at 32,000 feet the cupboard was bare. That’s usually not a mission-critical issue in a plane full of sleep-deprived vendors and Walmartians. And finally, here’s a bit of advice that could save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars, on family travel (geez, I sound like a Geico ad)! The Atlanta airport has miles of moving sidewalks with dozens of kids, including my own, happily and joyfully going back-and-forth on them, despite aggravating the h-e-double hockey sticks out of business travelers. My offspring enjoyed these moving sidewalks so much we nearly missed a connection when we couldn’t pry them off of them. However, all reported that the moving sidewalks are their “Most Favorite Ride Ever” – even better than anything in Disney World (take that, Mouse!) Not sure whether to laugh or cry about that. But, in the end, it’s a catch-22. I’m really good at business travel, but I hate it, and I’m really bad at family travel, but I love it.
Come visit our new home! 902 SW 2ND ST. BENTONVILLE, AR, 72712 • 479.464.5084 Enroll now and learn more: www.triketheatre.org
by: Christina Melo I will never forget the exact moment my phone buzzed in my scrub top pocket. It was Sunday, January 29, at 5:01 p.m., and my 12-hour shift working in the critical care unit was almost over. The caller ID showed that it was my son’s best friend. I answered quickly, never imagining how my life would change in the next 30 seconds. “Mrs. Melo, I’m worried about Melo” (as friends call him by his last name). “He is telling me he doesn’t want to live anymore. He is very upset and talking about suicide.” I thanked her and immediately called my son. Meanwhile, my co-workers called Scottie, Matthew’s father, who had just left the house shortly before Matthew got home. They also called EMS and the police to do a welfare check while I kept Matthew on the phone. I could feel the pain in his voice as he spoke through deep heavy sobs, “I’m so sorry, Mommy... there is so much blood... I don’t know... I’m so sorry.” The moment of absolute helplessness and fear I felt as a parent cannot be explained. Matthew spent the next 15+ hours in a windowless, isolated room. His only contact with medical professionals occurred when he was brought a meal tray, his labs were drawn, or his vital signs taken. I stayed with him through the night in the ER, still in my navy blue scrubs from the day before, scrunched up in a chair, with my head resting on his gurney. Matthew was going to need inpatient psychiatric care, and he was going to have to wait for a bed to open up. Unfortunately, in NWA, beds are limited, and cannot meet the needs of those that need them. I was offered a bed for him 28 September 2018
in Little Rock and Fort Smith on Sunday night, but I begged to see if we could wait until a bed opened up at Springwoods in Fayetteville. I know I was lucky getting the opportunity to wait, because most times you go where there is a bed. Monday afternoon, a bed became available at Springwoods. Matthew was transferred by ambulance and spent the next seven days there. After Matthew’s admission to Springwoods Behavioral Health was complete, Scottie and I embraced each other in the parking lot and sobbed, feeling like failures as parents. I spent the following week looking for places for support groups, not only for my son, but for myself. See, here’s the thing... there is no “manual” given to you after your child attempts to take their life. No one tells you what to expect in the coming weeks and months. There is no resource guide handed out at discharge from the ER, or from Springwoods, and, as a parent, I felt that more needed to be done. What I learned after spending hours and hours on the Internet in the week Matthew was at Springwoods was that there is information, there are support groups, and help does exist. Not once, though, was I told where to find that help. Through my countless hours of research, I created a crisis resource document that I’ve been able to share via social media and email, and hand out at the screenings of “SUICIDE: The Ripple Effect” that I hosted. Mental health and suicide are two problems plaguing not only our area, but our nation, and the world. More people die by suicide than homicide.
Every 40 seconds someone in the world dies by suicide, and yet... we don’t talk about it. If there was a disease taking lives every 40 seconds, I can guarantee you that there would be research, campaigns, and media attention to finding a cure. In our area, suicide is the second leading cause of death in ages 25-34, and the third leading cause of death in ages 15-24. Suicide in Arkansas has risen by 36.8 percent over the previous year and, sadly, that percentage is higher than the national average.
stigma. This page has given me the opportunity to put complete strangers together whom otherwise would be alone in their grief, or lost trying to find support. This page has also given me the opportunity to share local suicide loss stories that otherwise wouldn’t have received the deserved recognition. I feel as though every suicide loss deserves the same coverage Kate Spade, Anthony Bourdain, Robin Williams, Chester Bennington or Chris Cornell received, just to name a few.
I never expected that I would become a voice for suicide awareness and education, but I did the moment I shared a live video on Facebook telling my son’s story. What happened in the following months has been life-changing.
Society is so afraid to say the word “suicide” because of the stigma often associated with it. Until people can become comfortable talking about it, lives are going to continue to be lost to a preventable act. Soo-uh-side #LetsTalkAboutIt is an organization I am in the process of forming. Little did I know all that is involved in forming a nonprofit organization, and, every time I feel like giving up on it, someone will reach out to me looking for help for their child, a loved one or a friend. I met a local mother through my page whose son has been battling debilitating depression and has been struggling with severe suicidal ideation.
I recently hosted three different screenings of the movie “SUICIDE: The Ripple Effect,” – one in Bentonville, one in Rogers, and one in Fayetteville. Collectively, I had over 275 people attend showings. The screening I held in Fayetteville was covered by our local news channel, and the video that was put together has been viewed over 15,000 times. I created a Facebook page called Mental Health and Suicide Awareness, where I post and share all kinds of information about mental health and suicide, doing what I can to bring awareness and end the
I recently shared a post on my Facebook page about Ketamine infusion therapy. This is a newer
Turn the page
treatment option for depression that is not responding to traditional treatment methods. This mother had never heard about this treatment option and, by seeing my post, she was able to connect with a local doctor that offers it in Fayetteville. I am happy to report that her son has had tremendous success with the treatment, and I look forward to meeting him. Hopefully, he’ll share his story to continue the ripple effect of hope and healing.
If I can give you any advice, let it be this: Don’t be afraid to ask someone you are concerned about if they are suicidal. Asking the question does not put the idea in their head – it does the complete opposite, it will show them that you care enough to ask the tough questions. However, they really aren’t tough to ask. It’s as easy as asking these 4 questions: 1. Are you having thoughts of suicide? 2. Have you made a plan on how you would do it? 3. Do you have the means to carry out your plan? 4. Are you planning on taking your life?
Having a plan and the means to carry out the plan are the biggest red flags to these questions, and a time when you shouldn’t leave this person alone. I ask all parents to program 1-800-273-TALK into their kid’s phones in addition to the text line 741741. Remember, these are crisis numbers and one doesn’t have to be actively suicidal to use them.
As for my son, who is now 17, he continues with therapy every two weeks and continues the medication Celexa, the third medication that finally worked best for his depression and anxiety. Matthew is doing well, and he continues to share his story to help others to know that it gets better. Remember, no one that dies by suicide actually wants to die – they just want their pain to end. I will be hosting another screening of “SUICIDE: The Ripple Effect” on October 3rd. Please “like” and share my page Mental Health and Suicide Awareness. You can find it by searching @Melos. Mental.Health.Monday on Facebook. Support Soo-uh-side #LetsTalkAboutIt as we walk to fight suicide in the Out of the Darkness Northwest Arkansas Walk on September 9. We are joining the community of nearly 250k people walking in hundreds of cities across the country in support of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s mission to save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide.
Over 10 years of experience serving families in NWA Nationally Registered Play Therapist EMDR and Theraplay Trained
3102 SE J St., Bentonville, AR Evening Hours Available CONTACT US
www.Necessary-Play.com | phone: 479-530-3514 | email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Story by: Ashley Chastain Photo by LazerLeePhotography
Harper’s first 18 months of her life were probably the hardest and toughest. It was during this time that we realized our picture-perfect, fashion-forward, trendy girl wouldn’t be like we had imagined. Our good days were the equivalent to others’ hardest days. We would be challenged with crawling for months past “norm;” little to no emotion or verbal cooing; a possible future of assisted walkers and leg braces; not having the ability sit up on her own; to the potential of never walking or running. These issues amounted to some very tough stages for the first two years of her life. Then, we began to turn the corner. We traveled the United States for answers from specialists, and ran the most invasive genetic testing. Despite no medical diagnosis, Harper would evenutally be titled with “Global Development Delay” and “Intellectual Disability.” We wouldn’t get to take part in the normal milestones our lifelong friends (whom were just starting to build families) or neighbors’ children were getting to. We were in our own camp, faced with different challenges, attending different schools, long hours of therapy and little social life. Very few really understood our situation, or that times of “hanging out” were no longer possible. It was my husband Hunter, myself, and our nanny, “Jen-Jen”(Mama x2, and Harper’s biggest advocate), who fought every day to ensure she had the best resources and services in each environment we put her in - despite being pushed out of some because Harper was “extra work.” So many asked us how we did it without a medical diagnosis, but that wasn’t what was important to us. 32 September 2018
By the time Harper was four, Hunter and I had come to accept that everything we were doing for Harper, including the hours of private therapy (since 4 months old), was making a difference, and that’s all we could do. We were teaching her brain to work harder. Harper was severely delayed on all her physical and cognitive milestones, and may never talk “normally,” given her speech apraxia. However, she continues to make progress at her own pace without setbacks. They just come at a painfully slow rate. Whole exome sequencing (WES) testing had just started making its way into the U.S., and was still very expensive. A “title” of a very rare genetic diagnosis, which could come from the latest testing available, would be just that… a title. Or so I thought. Little did I know what it would do for my soul. Just months shy of Harper’s 5th birthday, I received the call I never expected from our geneticist. Harper had been diagnosed with DDX3X, a rare de novo mutation of a single gene on Harper’s x chromosome. DDX3X is a formula error at the time of conception in just 1 of her 60,000 genes. There was one peer-reviewed journal article, and less than 30 cases in the world at that given moment. That’s all our geneticist could tell us, so he sent me the available internet links. Today, it is estimated that over 220 cases have been diagnosed with the DDX3X mutation worldwide. DDX3X is likely a heavy hitter in the intellectually disabled population, accounting for up to 3-5 percent of undiagnosed females. There is a vast spectrum of severity with DDX3X - some girls
are completely dependent and wheelchair-bound, while others share some unique challenges with speech and muscle movement. It primarily impacts the hypothalamus, which connects the two sides of the brain; however, Harper’s extends into her nervous system, muscles and coordination. Early onset of puberty, altered pain perception, Autism, anxiety, digestive issues, risk of cancer and many other symptoms can accompany her diagnosis. We are working with committed doctors and have started funding research. With this we have a real shot at getting to a drug trial. A new medicine could improve the richness of our girl’s life in just a few short years. Harper will turn 8 in December, which is hard to believe. She has accomplished more physical, cognitive and speech goals than I ever thought imaginable. What joy it brings me to look back and see how far she has come! These are goals that many take for granted, as they come naturally. Of course, if Harper wants or loves something, she learns very quickly to pronounce her version of the word! I love being one of the “early diagnosed” in our DDX3X family. The wins number far more than the losses. It brings me so much joy to share the unimaginable with new families. These lifelong friends and extended family, while many miles away, are my strength. They make me laugh and smile almost every day. Adding to the joy is the patience, support and love that her little brother. Lake, invests in Harper. Our days are spent working, fighting for her rights in the school district, coordinating the services and logistics she needs for therapy, and hoping for both a less restrictive environment and being
amongst “typical” peers. We choose to spend our time working towards what we hope one day will be the most independent life possible for Harper, and other DDX3X families. Each one of us are unique. Some are forced to get and use a medical diagnosis (a “title”) to simply get the services they need. Unfortunately, individuals like Harper are also many times overlooked because of the extra work, or “needs,” that come with them. Without a doubt, Harper has changed my life for the better! I have never been a major worrier, which likely comes from having a life I worked hard for, even as a child. I also have a family that provided more than I could have ever imagined. My parents taught us love, with never-ending positivity and smiles. However, many of our days can still be hard, both because of the unanswered “why’s,” and also the discrepancy between the life we live and that of our surrounding friends and community. In the end, I have found myself worrying only about what I can control, being extremely sensitive to what really matters, focusing on my health and exercise (as it is my release), and staying numb to the many things that I can’t control. We must use our time to find the good in things. Perspective is key. Live life for what is important, focus on what matters most, and LOVE.
To learn more about DDX3X or to support the children with this condition, visit ddx3x.org. peekaboonwa.com
september Little Sprouts
September 5 | 9:30am and 10:15am Botanical Garden of the Ozarks, Fayetteville Kids baby age to 5 years and their caregivers (no pets please). Free for children, adults pay regular admission. Little Sprouts is a weekly botanically-themed program for preschoolers. Each week we read stories, sing songs, and do fun crafts and activities.
Preschool Bible Activity Time September 8 | 10 - 11am LifeWay 2203 Promenade Blvd. Suite 20320 Rogers The Ten Commandments: Love God Join us at 10am every Wednesday for our FREE Preschool Bible Activity Time!
First Thursday - Fayetteville
September 6 | 5-8:30pm Downtown Fayetteville On the first Thursday of the month, the city’s historic downtown square transforms into an outdoor arts district featuring more than 40 visual artists who create items in a variety of mediums. The event also includes live music, street performances, children’s activities, food trucks, a craft beer garden and more.
September 8 | 7-9pm City Park next to City Hall, Centerton Join us for our Annual Centerton Day. www.centertonar.us - Pancake breakfast, 5K Run and 1K Fun Walk, kids fishing derby, Tiny Tots Pageant, car show, fingerprints by the Centerton Police Department, parade, movie in the park, 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 34 September 2018
Mother Nature Reading Time September 8 | 10:30am Hobbs State Park Mother Nature herself has become a permanent fixture at Hobbs State Park Conservation Area. Every 2nd Saturday at 10:30am, she visits the park to excite the imaginations of all the children around her. The theme is trees. Story time will be followed by “hands-on” nature-craft activities. Children of all ages are welcome; however, most stories will target children 3-6 years of age. Free. Meet Mother Nature in the lobby of the Hobbs State Park – Conservation Area.
September 8 | 10am-2pm Shiloh Square, Downtown Springdale This unique event will focus on mental health awareness and mental health services/ programs in the area. MINDfest NWA is a family-friendly event and will feature live music, food trucks, art installations, and interactive booths. Having so many mental health services featured in one location will be a great benefit to our community.
Fall Music & Art Festival
September 9 | 12-6pm Terra Studios 12103 Hazel Valley Rd, Fayetteville Come wander through the magical six-acre Art Park at Terra Studios to experience the spirit of unique song circles, heritage folk arts, local craft vendors, live art demonstrations, delicious food trucks, and more! $10 presale ticket price through 9/8/18 or $15 at the gate.
Imagination Station Grand Opening
September 9 | 12:30 - 3pm Imagine Studios, Villages on the Creeks Celebrate Imagination Station’s GRAND OPENING with an afternoon of food, drinks, raffle prizes, snow cones, art fun & more.
Be one of the first to HOP on the BUS. Imagination Station is a non-profit art studio on wheels to bring creativity on the go to NWA. imaginationstationnwa.com No cost to attend.
Welcoming Week, a series of events nationwide bringing together immigrants, refugees and native-born residents to raise awareness about importance of welcoming everyone.
Parenting Workshops the “Love and Logic Way”
September 21 | 6-11pm The Berry Farm 12726 Huber Road, Bentonville We invite you to join our commitment to hunger relief by attending a farm to table meal at The Berry Farm.
September 12 | 6:45 - 7:45 September 13 and 14 | 6-8pm Bella Vista Church of Christ Free, plus free childcare Learn how to put fun back into parenting. Logical consequences.
Art on the Bricks
September 13 | 4:30pm - 7:30pm Downtown Rogers Downtown Rogers’ businesses host guest artists and musicians from across NW Arkansas and showcase their work. This is the perfect way for art enthusiasts, foodies and fun seekers to enjoy the Bricks of Downtown Rogers! Shop, view and purchase art and frequent the many eating and drinking establishments. Free Kids Zone In-Store Event at JCPenney
Design your own Card
September 15 | 11:00am - 12:00pm Pinnacle Hills Promenade 2202 Fun project just for kids. Just for parents, an extra 10% off coupon!
September 16 | 2-7:30pm Botanical Garden of the Ozarks Join us at the garden on a beautiful fall evening for our 3rd annual International Festival! This event is FREE and open to the entire community! This event is part of
50th Anniversary Family Celebration
September 22 |2-4pm Shiloh Museum of Ozark History, Springdale For children and families. Enjoy a scavenger hunt, old-fashioned toys and games, life-size historic cut-outs for photographs, and of course, cake and ice cream, as we celebrate the Shiloh Museum. Best of all, it’s free!
Disney Aladdin Jr. September 22 Stage One Entertainment
6th Annual NWA Hispanic Heritage Festival
September 23 Downtown Fayetteville Please, join us for the 6th Annual Northwest Arkansas Hispanic Heritage Festival.
Puzzle Run 5k
September 29, 2018 Bentonville West High School Preregister online at https://app.regwiz.io/ register/aim5k/464 Day-of registration available between 6am7am. Race starts at 7:30am. Register by September 13th to receive an event t-shirt.
Looking for family friendly Halloween fun? Hay Rides are a great way to enjoy the Halloween season. We at Riverside Entertainment understand that not everyone likes to be scared. We are now offering a family friendly hayride. Riverside Family Hayride will be open from 6 pm to 8:30 pm on Tuesday and Thursday nights in October. Sit back and enjoy the ride, listen to a child friendly story, and make
delicious s’mores. This is a great way to build treasured memories with your kids. Cost is 5.00 per person.
Last tickets to be sold at 8:30 pm. Materials to make s’mores, hot chocolate, and water will be available for purchase.
17023 Chambers Springs Road, Siloam Springs On Hwy 412 between Siloam and Tontitown.
Northwest Arkansas Last month Peekaboo stopped in at Best Start Pediatricâ€™s Open House and Teddy Bear Clinic. Children were invited to bring their teddy bear for a checkup before adorning their own doctor scrubs and stethoscope. After meeting the doctors and staff and getting a tour of the office, families were treated to a cook-out and ice cream from MaggieMooâ€™s.
Best Start Pediatric moved to their new location earlier this year 5203 Willow Creek Drive, Suite 2 in Springdale. You can find them at their new online address as well www.keepingyourkidshealthy.com
Heroes Among Us Story by: Mandy Brashear / Family Photo: Main Street Studio Heroes and she-roes come in many different forms. To some people, a hero may wear a cape and have super powers. To me, heroes are the men and women who dedicate their lives to serving our community in public service. Over the last five years, I’ve encountered a number of local heroes who have impacted my life in one way or another, and to them I owe a debt of gratitude. In March of 2013, I found myself 34 weeks pregnant with my second daughter. Since this was my second pregnancy, I knew the symptoms I was having were concerning. So, I went to my doctor, and she admitted me to the hospital for monitoring. After a few hours, I was released and returned home. Later that evening, I grew more and more uncomfortable, to the point that I knew it was time to return to the hospital. Suddenly, my water broke and I found myself in the bathroom, crippled by contractions, 34 weeks pregnant, with a baby in breech position.
I was terrified. I called for my mom, who happened to be spending the night, and told her to call 911. While the paramedics were being dispatched, my mom became my impromptu midwife as the dispatcher walked her through preparing to deliver her grandchild. The paramedics arrived in a few short minutes and proceeded to deliver my tiny, 4-pound 15-ounce baby. She was born six weeks early, in breech position, with the cord around her neck twice, 11 minutes after my water broke, in my bed, at my home, with my 4-year-old daughter watching from her bedroom doorway. 38 September 2018
They worked quickly to stabilize her and they transported us to Mercy Hospital. After a long 28-day stay in the Mercy NICU, and thanks to the care of some of the greatest NICU nurses on earth, Grace Marie McDonald finally got to come home. In January of 2014, I was at work and Grace, who was 10 months old, was being cared for at my house by Maria, my nanny. I received a panicked phone call from Maria that there was a fire rolling up my back hill from Lake Atalanta, and it was quickly approaching my house. She followed up by texting me a picture of my backyard completely engulfed in 10-foot high flames. My neighbor had already noticed the fire and called the Rogers Fire Department. I rushed home to find the RFD had quickly responded to fight the fire. The grass fire had completely burned one of my three acres, and was within inches of destroying my storage barn. Because of their quick response and expertise, the RFD saved my barn, my home, and -- most importantly – my children and beloved nanny were all fine. Just a couple of months later, in March of 2014, I found it fitting to host Grace’s first birthday at Station 1 of the Rogers Fire Department to celebrate with the heroes who saved her, not once, but twice! After her party, the Fire Chief and I stayed in touch. A few times he mentioned that he wanted to introduce me to some “great guy.” I finally agreed to meet this great guy, John, who I later learned was a detective
with the Rogers Police Department. As a single mom of two young children, I was very cautious of dating, especially someone in his line of work. But, it didn’t take me long to realize that John, who had never been married and had no children of his own, was created to be a husband and father. Over the next three years, I slowly opened my heart and let my guard down as I watched John fall head-over-heels-in-love with my daughters. In May 2017, we got married and became a blended family. Since that time, our family has learned a lot. John has learned how to make strawberry milk, and he has perfected his “world famous ponytails.” My girls have learned that their hearts do have enough love for both their dad and their stepdad, and I’ve learned that things don’t always happen the way you would have planned. As a busy working mom of two young children, this was a hard lesson for me to learn. But last month as I was standing next to that “great guy” who was now my husband, watching my perfectly healthy 5-year-old Grace walk into kindergarten, I learned that sometimes it’s best to not plan, and just go along for the ride. When I think of heroes, I think of John. This man has a calling to serve others. Every day after he has served our girls breakfast, he kisses them goodbye
and walks out the door to serve our city. He, just like many other public servants, loves his job. The responsibility of the badge he wears runs deep, and that is exactly why he is such a good stepfather. He will willingly miss a family dinner if it means he can bring justice to a grieving family or help someone in need. And, when he returns home, he leaves the disturbing images he witnessed that day at the door. John is a hero to many Rogers residents because of the cases he’s worked. He’s a hero to my girls because he is unfazed when called to kill scary wasps and spiders, and he can always find the missing Lego needed to complete the miniature horse stable play set. John is my hero because he chose to exchange his carefree bachelor life for us. John grew up in a family of public servants, as his father and grandfather both served in the fire service in Northwest Arkansas. John knew that he wanted a career helping people, and felt that police
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Heroes Among Us work was his calling. He started at the Rogers Police Department in 2008 in the patrol division. Since then, he has also served in the criminal investigations division and other specialized units. He has worked both property crimes and crimes against people. In 2014, John decided to go back to school and finish his degree while still working full-time. In 2016, he graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Arkansas. Through John, I have been exposed to many other Rogers public servants, and I can’t help but feel inspired by the servant hearts they all display. A story that began five years ago with my own 9-1-1 call for help has opened my eyes to the importance of decision-making at the city leadership level for these types of heroes and the services they provide. It is one of the reasons why I recently decided to run for the open seat on the Rogers City Council in the upcoming November 6 election. As a transplant to the Northwest Arkansas area, I bring the perspective of the nearly 70 percent of Rogers residents who didn’t live here 20 years ago. Rogers
is a growing city, and the demographic is changing. Not only do I know what it’s like to be a mom balancing the demands of a career, kids’ activities and still trying to have some resemblance of a social life, I also personally know how critically important our local public service heroes and sheroes are to our city. And I know how important it is for this perspective to be represented at the leadership table in Rogers. I’m not an aspiring politician, and I don’t have a professionally-managed campaign. But I am passionate about showing my daughters that anyone can do anything if they are willing to work hard enough for it. A new voice will be added to Rogers City Council through this election, and there’s no one better to bring this voice than me. Because I know that no matter where you came from, or how long you plan to stay here, Rogers is a great place to call home. And it’s a place where a scary situation, like going into premature labor at home or having your home threatened by a fire, can ultimately lead you to finding love and marrying your own hometown hero.
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Orthopedic Surgeons at Northwest Health Now Offering
New Procedures Using Robotic Technology
orthwest Health now offers robotic technology for knee and hip replacement procedures at two locations. Northwest Health Physicians’ Specialty Hospital (NWHPSH) offers total knee, partial knee and total hip replacement procedures. Northwest Medical Center – Bentonville, has provided partial and total knee procedures with the technology since 2014, as first in the state to do so. This new technology transforms the way joint replacement surgery is performed, enabling patients to have a more predictable surgical experience with increased accuracy. With this technology, each patient can be provided with a personalized surgical experience based on their specific diagnosis and anatomy. Using a virtual 3D model, the robotic system allows surgeons to personalize each patient’s surgical plan pre-operatively before entering the operating room. During surgery, the surgical plan can be validated, and surgeons can make any necessary adjustments while guiding the robotic arm to execute that plan. The total knee application is a knee replacement treatment option designed to relieve the pain caused by joint degeneration due to osteoarthritis. Through CT-based 3D modeling of bone anatomy, surgeons can create a personalized surgical plan and identify the implant size, orientation and alignment based on each patient’s unique anatomy. The robotic system also enables surgeons to virtually modify the surgical plan intraoperatively and assists the surgeon in executing bone resections. The total hip application is a treatment option for adults who suffer from degenerative joint disease
of the hip. During surgery, the surgeon guides the robotic-arm during bone preparation to prepare the hip socket and position the implant according to the pre-determined surgical plan. These procedures are performed by the following specialty trained robotic-certified orthopedic surgeons: Mark Allard, M.D., of Northwest Orthopedics – Springdale; Christopher Arnold, M.D., of Advanced Orthopedic Specialists; Christopher Dougherty, D.O., of Agility Center Orthopedics; Stephen Hudson, M.D., of Ozark Orthopaedics; Michael Maline, D.O., of Agility Center Orthopedics; Terry Sites, M.D., of Sites Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine; David Yakin, M.D., of Advanced Orthopedic Specialists. “We are proud to further expand access to this technology at Northwest Health,” said Denten Park, Market CEO, Northwest Health. “It is part of our commitment to provide our community with outstanding healthcare, close to home.”
To schedule an appointment or for more information, call us at 479-7574056 or visit NorthwestHealth.com
GOAL! The Bentonville FC Prodigy 15-year-olds (birth year 2003) went 4,660 miles from Bentonville, AR to Gothenburg, Sweden to play in the Gothia Cup this summer. The Gothia Cup is the largest and most international youth soccer tournament in the world. It has officially been deemed the “Youth World Cup.” The team that went from Bentonville FC Prodigy consisted of 19 boys and 1 girl. Schools included Bentonville High, Bentonville West, Haas Hall, and Springdale HarBer. Gothia Cup started in 1975 with 275 teams from 5 nations. In 2018, it had 1,731 teams from 78 nations. In Prodigy’s age group, there were 195 teams from 39 other countries, including 10 USA teams. Prodigy finished #17 overall with a record of 2-2-1. Each loss was only by one goal. During the 12 days the team was
overseas, they only saw two basketball goals, no football fields and no baseball fields, but many, many soccer goals. The team stayed in a local middle school on mats during their stay. Congratulations team Prodigy, Head Coach Doug Estrada, and Assistant coaches Zach Estrada and Meagan Johnson.
TOP RUNNER! Shout Out to Alexis Johnston, who runs with the Top Gun Track Club. She started practicing with the team in June 2018, attending track meets every weekend. She competed at Little Rock three times, at Magnolia, AR, at Jenks, OK, and then qualified for nationals at the AAU Championship in Joplin, MO. She also qualified for USATF nationals for the long jump and 800m. Last month, Alexis ran the 800 meters and was 34th in the nation. Her time was 3.05.64. This is Alexis’ first year to do track, and she loves running and following in her dad’s footsteps, because he used to run for Springdale High School.
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Super Spellers! This year, the Scripps National Spelling Bee was held May 26 through June 2 in National Harbor, MD. There were 512 spellers that competed, including three from Arkansas: Weston Sills from Farmington, Pavani Chittemsetty from Bentonville, and Dasha Blalock from Jonesboro. All three competed in the semifinal round. The Bee begins with a written test, including both spelling and vocabulary questions, so you not only need to know the correct spelling, but also definitions. Round 2 begins the onstage spelling. After Round 3, the written test score narrows the field to no more than 50 finalists. To qualify for the National Spelling Bee, Weston, Pavani and Dasha all won their school spelling bees, their county bees and competed at the state bee, then they completed an application process to be invited to the National Spelling Bee. In round 2 Weston spelled degringolade. Dasha spelled bibliopegy. Pavani spelled naumachia.
Do you have an a shout out you would like to include in our new affirmation station? Send it to us at: email@example.com
The 411 on Molluscum: What It Is and What To Do About It By Joseph Blackmon, MD
o be honest, one of the most common conditions I see in pediatric patients is a condition called molluscum contagiosum. Parents, I know that second word of this diagnosis can be frightening, and have you wondering if you are bathing your child enough, if you need to switch daycares, or stop frequent play dates with other kiddos. Some of you may just wonder what it is, and how you can best help your child get rid of the lesions. Well, you are not alone! So, please read on and I will explain what molluscum contagiosum is, debunk some common myths about the condition, and discuss some common treatment options and recommendations I share with parents of patients who present with this condition. Molluscum contagiosum (MC) is a very common cutaneous viral infection in pediatric patients that is caused by a member of the Poxvirus family. Consider it a cousin to other viral conditions, like chicken pox, or even a common wart. Although rarely seen in healthy adults, it is commonly encountered in children of all ages, especially under the age of 8. Based on recent studies, there has been an 11-fold increase in the incidence of MC in the United States over the last 18 years. This may be due to the ease and speed of transmission through skin-to-skin contact and fomites, whether found in swimming pools, towels, or other items that may harbor the virus and come in contact with your child. If your child has MC lesions, it does not mean you are not bathing him/her often enough. Most of the time, it is unavoidable for you, as the parent, to prevent ALL risk factors for transmission of the virus. 46 September 2018
MC typically appears on the skin as a round, pink or red bump, ranging in size from a few millimeters up to nearly a centimeter in diameter. Common sites are on the trunk and extremities, with a predilection for folds or moist areas of the body (groin, armpits and knee folds). The characteristic appearance of MC commonly contains a centrallylocated small dell or depression, which may or may not have material protruding from it. Once a lesion develops, these areas can become very itchy, which can cause your child to scratch them. Unfortunately, scratching these areas results in spreading, or “auto-inoculation,” of the virus, leading to the development of more lesions. These new bumps can be in a linear configuration near the original lesion, or on distant sites from where the initial one began. Another thing to consider is that MC lesions can be accompanied with a rash in the surrounding skin of the affected areas. This “molluscum dermatitis” often times will perpetuate the spread of the lesions, because these red rashes are also itchy and lead to your child scratching and spreading the virus to other locations. So, now that you know what MC is and how it spreads, let’s discuss the steps you need to take to get your child molluscum-free! I preface this by saying you should first seek the care of a boardcertified dermatologist or a qualified healthcare professional who has experience with the diagnosis and treatment of molluscum contagiosum. Once diagnosed, there are typically several treatment options that will be discussed with you and your child. If a rash is present with the lesions, the rash is typically treated first with a topical steroid for a brief period of time before proceeding with
treatment of the lesion. The first (and easiest) option is do nothing! Remember that MC is a type of virus, and the body (over time) will be able to clear these lesions on their own. However, this is highly variable, and can take anywhere from six months to three years, maybe even longer. Other treatment options that can be discussed with your doctor include the application of a medicine called cantharidin, which is an extract derived from a blistering beetle called Cantharis vesicatoria. This medicine is applied to the MC lesions in the doctorâ€™s office, and then you will be asked to wash the medicine off several hours after application. The medicine works by forming an intentional blister under the skin to help remove the lesions. More often than not, these lesions may need to be treated more than once, every 3-4 weeks until clear. Other topical medications that may be suggested include topical salicylic acid with or without tape stripping, topical retinoids (especially for lesions that uncommonly occur on the face) and a medication called imiquimod (which works with your immune system to help your body attack and remove the MC lesions). Unfortunately, these options typically take several weeks to months to be fully effective. Removal methods can also be discussed, but typically involve freezing the areas with liquid nitrogen or using a topical anesthetic
application followed by scraping away the lesions. These methods of destruction are more invasive and traumatic and may be considered as second line therapy for patients, especially in infants and toddlers. I hope this article has given you some insight to a common skin condition that can be distressing and frustrating for both you and your child. It is always a good idea to see your dermatologist, pediatrician or qualified healthcare provider to evaluate any suspicious lesions on your child. But rest assured, although this is a common pediatric condition that is becoming even more prevalent, you are not alone, and there are effective treatment options available for your child. ..................................................................
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Dr. Joseph Blackmon is a board-certified dermatologist and is fellowship-trained in skin cancer, reconstructive surgery, and cosmetic dermatology. He joined Advanced Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center in August 2018 and is currently accepting new patients.
by: Kathleen Barnes
I was adopted at birth, joining a one. I grew up surrounded by other families with family that already consisted of biological and adopted children. My adopted parents, Larry and Barbara Hyde, had spent years fostering, and had adopted two of their foster placements. Being in their early forties, they thought their foster/adoptive journey was over. However, Larry (who was an obstetrician) had a patient with an unplanned pregnancy who was looking for an adoptive family. So, in December of 1984, the Hyde family added one last member... me! Being adopted was always a part of my story. There was never a moment where I remember hearing this fact for the first time. It was simply a part of my identity, and certainly not a negative
48 September 2018
stories similar to ours. Many families we knew were comprised of biological children, adopted children, and sometimes current foster children. I think the exposure to this family makeup made me hope to someday also adopt. As I grew, our family experienced some of the stereotypical problems families often face. I was a secondhand witness to feuding relatives, illegitimate children, divorce, jail, sexual abuse, drugs, etc. The most impactful change happened when I was 12. My father passed away unexpectedly. The pain of that loss contributed to some of the aforementioned choices for family members. With all of these things happening around me, I can recall being repeatedly told by siblings, “You are the one. The one that won’t screw up. You will do it the ‘right’ way.” With all that pressure placed on me, I went on to make “safe” decisions. Sure, I made some typical teenage mistakes. However, by the grace of God, I did well in school and went on to graduate, go to college, get married, begin a teaching career, and start a family. A few months ago, I was asked to take part in an “adopted children success stories” series by The Adoptive Mom Podcast. I’m so thankful this opportunity came to me, because it pushed me to reflect on my individual adoption story. Why is my story considered successful? Was this all just handed to me? Could
I have “screwed it up”? And, because I have been witness to other adoptive stories that could be deemed unsuccessful, I think I can now see the factors that led to my success. Each family member is God-orchestrated. Celebrate each addition as a necessary piece to your family’s puzzle! I never felt that I was treated differently because I was adopted. I always felt like each one of us was picked to be in this family, whether it was biological or otherwise. They were my parents, and my brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, and cousins, etc. I had to choose my reactions to crises around me. Life isn’t pretty, so what are you going to do with that? Thankfully, I had positive role models in my life that helped me as I walked through the tough stuff. I recognize my childhood included painful events that should have left me resentful, angry, entitled, and destructive. Ultimately, it was my decision as to what I would do with the pain on the journey. I can’t imagine how different life could have been, had I chosen negative responses. Thank you, Lord, for keeping me on Your path! I get to choose who I want to be: adopted or not, we all struggle with identity during those teen years. I have seen the “adoption” factor drive a deep emptiness in some. I can’t let the unknown
of who my biological family is drive who I can be. It is just one piece of my story; there is so much more to me! As others navigate being adopted or adopting, I hope these three points give you strength and hope. To bring it all full circle, in April of 2015, my dream came true and we adopted our daughter, Kennedy. I have had many real conversations with her about these three things. I have told her, “You have every right to choose hate for the broken path given to you. But, the awesome thing is, God can shine through the brokenness and make your story beautiful.” --- Excerpt from Kathleen’s podcast interview --Alex: What do you wish someone had told you at the beginning? Kennedy: I wish someone had said “You know, it’s gonna be hard, but it’s gonna end up great,” cause I always thought that if things are hard, they’re just going to continue being hard and will never get better. Alex: What is your favorite way that your tribe supported you through this? Read On...
God is going to carry us through these things. Alex: What is the most important thing you’ve learned about each other through this journey?
Kathleen: Family-wise, I think they were awesome. My in-laws have always been in love with my daughter, and very much embraced this kiddo… she’s pretty easy to love, though. And they’ve been really supportive about having this new person in our home--learning about her, and getting to know her. The other thing that sticks in my head was the different reactions from people within our church. When we found out that we were going to move toward adoption, I struggled with people telling me that I was such a great person, because they thought ‘of course’ we were going to adopt her. I remember running with my friend, who told me, “You know, you don’t have to adopt her. If you don’t feel like this is for your family and what God is calling you to, then it would be a disservice to her and to your family.” Just being able to be real was awesome. There were a lot of moments where I would have some really raw feelings that I would feel really guilty about, and I did have a few people that I could tell those things to. Your tribe can be supportive, but if they’re not fellow foster and adoptive parents, there are going to be things they’re not going to understand. It’s just different. Your tribe changes through adoption, and that’s okay. Alex: So, your tribe would be those people that could . take that honest truth. On the flip side, what is something that you feel like people unintentionally did that hurt you or made things harder? Kathleen: Sometimes people ask too many questions. That was difficult. I’m trying to respect my daughter’s privacy, too. I think people sometimes think, “Oh, she’s just a kid!” I get it, because I can be that person, too; I also want to know everything. But, they would ask questions that I didn’t feel like I could share with everyone. I mean, when you get into foster care, you hear a slew of “You guys are crazy.” “You already do so much.” Or they end up bringing up the worst case scenario to you, and I have to tell them that we have to trust that 50 September 2018
Kathleen: I’m very impressed with how resilient she’s been. It might be the therapists, and largely due to the teachers she has had. There have been plenty of things for her to be mad about and angry with God about, but she has changed and overcome and hasn’t given up. She hasn’t let any of her life factors determine who she is going to be. Alex: Kennedy, how about you? Kennedy: Definitely that parents, in general, aren’t as rude as I thought they were. They can be nice when they want, and rude when they want, but they don’t have to be rude all of the time. You don’t have to always be afraid of them. They’re not always going to rampage you. I feel like if I do my best, then my parents will support me. Alex: So, Kennedy, what is your biggest piece of advice, both for families trying to adopt older kids and for their adopted kids? Kennedy: Don’t try to pry into [the adopted kid’s] life right at the beginning. Give it time and slowly ask questions. They been through enough, being taken from their family and placed in a new home, It’s just going to take a while to get used to things. If you dive in right away, they’re going to get scared, and not want to share. For kids, they’re definitely going to have that moment where they realize how great of a family they have now, and that God really does have a way of putting them in the right home, and making them feel like they’re important to that family. Just trust Him, cause He knows what He’s doing.
Alex Fittin hosts The Adoptive Mom Podcast, a weekly program for the strongest of moms (and dads, too!) This podcast features all kinds of characters from the adoptive community, including support systems, grandparents, pastors, birth moms, educators, adopted kids, and of course, lots of adoptive mamas! On this show, we are honest, raw, and supportive about the struggles, joys, wins, losses, and the beautiful and ugly parts of this adoption thing. No topic is off-limits, and you can always count on a real take on one of the most important things one can do: adopt.
52 September 2018
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The Family Behind
MATHERS JIU-JITSU AND FITNESS by: Tony Mathers I joined the Navy during my senior year of high school, going to boot camp shortly after I graduated in 2001. While in boot camp, 9/11 happened. It was a scary time. I completed electrical school, then reported to my ship, the USS John C. Stennis CVN-74, an aircraft carrier stationed in San Diego. I worked on the flight deck for two years, operating and maintaining landing guidance equipment, flight deck lighting, and flight operations camera systems. My final year was spent working in security as a brig prison guard. It was a difficult four years, but I’m glad I did it. After I was discharged in 2005, I began training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ). I received my black belt in 2016, something that usually takes an average of 10-15 years. During my time training, I was fortunate enough to travel and compete across the world while learning from a variety of styles and instructors. With my lovely wife Amy, I run Mathers Jiu-Jitsu and Fitness. We have four children; Madilyn (13), Haylen (11), Gus (3), and Ari (5 months). Our gym is very much a family-run business. Every member of the family is involved. My wife, an ACE-certified personal trainer, handles the fitness instruction, while I teach the martial arts. Madi takes class and helps with teaching our youth students. Haylen is always there helping at
54 September 2018
the front desk and helping with the younger kids. Gus has recently joined youth class while his younger brother watches attentively, desperately wanting to join. We started Mathers Jiu-Jitsu and Fitness to not only share my love and passion for martial arts with our community, but to also grow the BJJ community in NWA by providing opportunities for cross training and growth. For Amy and I, martial arts and fitness can be many things to people. BJJ has a variety of benefits, from teaching confidence to selfdefense. It can be therapeutic while also teaching valuable skills. As such, we reach out to those in our community who could use martial arts training, like police officers, firefighters, veterans, and teachers. We want to make our community happier, healthier, and safer. First and foremost, we provide a safe training environment for all students. Police officers need more training – a few months of training could make a major difference. BJJ is a form of therapy and rehabilitation, which can benefit our veterans. Youth students learn self-confidence, and how proper technique and leverage can prepare them to defend themselves against larger, stronger opponents. Every fall we a run a six week women’s self defense course teaching
the basics of self defense while also discussing the reality of self defense and preparedness. Amy doesn’t like the one-size-fits-all approach to modern fitness. Her slogan is “putting the personal in personal training.” She designs all of her workouts for all fitness levels, with modifications for each exercise in case a student has a preexisting injury. Besides our regular fitness classes, we also offer a unique class for all fitness levels, called POUND Rockout Workout©. It’s an exhilarating full-body workout that combines cardio, conditioning, and strength training, using lightly weighted drumsticks all set to energizing music. The dream for our gym started small. Amy trained clients out of our garage while I rented mat space. In January 2017, after I received my black belt, everything lined up for us to combine our students and move into our new space. A month later, our son, Gus, had his 18-month check-up. The doctor made a recommendation that nearly broke us, but we already knew deep down, he needed to be tested for autism. It was a hard year. Getting a diagnosis for autism is a multi-month process. Fortunately, we were able to get him started in therapy in May. Within a few months, he was making progress, going from completely non-verbal to speaking full sentences. Learning about autism was incredibly eye-opening for both of us; specifically, how all the services for special needs youths are created and run by parents of special needs kids. Amy and I wanted to do our part as well. We work with autism and special needs groups in the area to open our doors to special needs kids, as BJJ has many benefits for these students. BJJ is a team and individual sport, which creates an environment for every student to learn at their own pace. Many special needs youths require deep pressure, such as strong hugs, something BJJ offers. At our school, we integrate the special needs students with the neurotypical ones, allowing them to learn how to train with partners of all different skill levels. I won’t lie, running a business with a full-time day job, taking care of two teens, a Gus (trust me, he’s his own classification), and a baby can be difficult, but incredibly rewarding. This is everything I have ever wanted, and I honestly couldn’t do it without my wife. Without her dedication and strength, we wouldn’t be where we are now. And to tell the truth, it was all her idea anyway. Except marrying her... that was all me.
Photos by: Jessica Forst with Fringe Photography
Tips for Every Family from a by: Ann Meythaler
Mom of 8!
I recently posted on Facebook that I think moms with a lot of kids should run this country. We can’t, obviously, because we’re busy raising our tribes. But the efficiency and logistical planning we bring to the table would be a game-changer. I’m a single mom with eight kids and, to answer your questions – yes, that is a lot of kids. Yes, they’re all mine. Yes, I know how that happens. Yes, I spend a lot on groceries. No, I don’t home school. Yes, my hands and heart are full. But no, it’s not quite as crazy as you might think. I have a few things I do fairly well that help limit the chaos.
It’s just a season. Know the season you’re in and remember that it’s just a season. I could go on and on about seasons that felt chaotic and overwhelming that I’ve found myself in, either voluntarily or involuntary. In each of those seasons, I’ve had to readjust what normal life has looked like and come up with a new normal. Sometimes the new normal feels like a consolation prize to the normal you wish you had, but it’s important to remember that this is just a season, and a new one is right around a corner (or two corners... or seven). The point is, change is inevitable. Don’t feel like everything will feel like this forever, because it just won’t.
Prioritize. Sometimes, after everyone is home from school,
it feels like everybody needs my attention at the same time. I’m pretty good at prioritizing what must be dealt with first. If there’s a story one of my big girls wants to tell me, I’ll typically ask if she can wait until after the younger kids are in bed, and then I’ll be able to really give her my undivided attention. That allows me to spend time with the younger, less patient kids first. Then, once they’re in bed, I can move my attention to older kids. We have staggered bedtimes, so I do get to spend time with each of the kids, just not right when they get home from school. If there’s laundry piled up on the couch or dishes in the sink, but a child needs some extra cuddles, I pick cuddles every single time. The chores can wait. Cuddle time with my kids is more limited than I’d like to admit. My first priority is happy children who know they’re safe and loved deeply. If I nail that one, then I’m okay doing a mediocre job at everything else.
Systems. Sometimes, I look around my house and get overwhelmed at the stuff cluttering up my home. That’s when I give some serious thought to changing up our systems and routines. As you might expect, laundry can easily get overwhelming. Getting this system right is so important, so I can be efficient with my time. I’ve had several different systems that have worked
for a while, and then they didn’t, so I’ve moved on to something new. New seasons, new systems. Right now, our system looks like this – each of the younger kids has their own laundry basket in the laundry room. I can sort clothes straight from the dryer into those baskets. I lay items like dresses and shirts flat, and have the kids hang those up themselves. Then, they each put away their clothes out of the baskets. The bigger girls do their own laundry now, which helps a lot! Other systems/plans that aren’t quite so involved include rules about taking off their shoes when they get home, and putting those in their cubbies in the mud room. Backpacks always go on the hooks in their lockers. This is in part about keeping things tidy, but mostly it’s just to save me time from having to help them find lost items as we’re trying to walk out the door in the morning. Having smooth morning and evening routines is another big one. In the mornings, I rarely move out of the kitchen. It’s like my morning mission control. The kids move all around, and as I see them walking by, I’ll check in to make sure they’re on task. In an effort to keep me from moving all around to get the things done that I have to do for them, I make sure I have what I need nearby. This includes moving all the stuff required to fix the younger kids’ hair to a drawer in the kitchen. It’s always where I need it to be and then can be put back away quickly once we’re done using it. I set alarms in my phone to give them reminders five minutes before they need to be ready to walk out the door. If I lose track of time, then we all get frantic and our days just tank. The evenings are much more fluid. I let the kids read and play once homework is done, but when it’s time for dinner or showers or bed, I make sure to give them plenty of heads-up about how much time they have left before they need to move on to what they’re being asked to do next. Repeated, calm, clear communication is the key to smooth transitions. I’m also not afraid to try a new system (maybe something that’s working well for a friend of mine) just to see if it will work for us, too. It’s no big deal if it doesn’t, I just move on to something new. But, it’s totally worth the trial and error if it does work and ends up saving me time and energy!
Simplify. I’m a firm believer in keeping things as simple as I can, so I look around at the things we do and things I’m unhappy with and think about ways to do them better – or ways to not to be overwhelmed by things that aren’t mandatory. This really ties right in with household systems. One of those
ways that I keep things simple is by limiting the kids’ extracurricular activities. I’ve always been a big proponent of letting my kids just be kids. I want them to have plenty of free time to run around outside, to play with their siblings and friends, to unwind, to not feel rushed to get their homework done, and to be able to spend time exploring whatever it is that they’re currently interested in at that moment. That’s not to say we don’t do extracurricular activities at all. My high schooler runs track, and my three elementary-aged kids all play baseball. But, they’re only allowed to be in one thing at a time. If they want to switch to a new activity, they have to fulfill their commitment to the team this year and then next year they’re welcome to try something new. Also, in the spirit of simplifying is cutting out chores we all hate that could be avoided. For some, this may mean hiring an outside housekeeper to come in and do a once-over of the house on a regular basis. If you can do that, do it! Anything to free up more time to spend interacting with your kids. For me, one of those is the toothpaste mess in the bathroom/ lost toothbrushes/lost toothpaste/which-brushbelongs-to-whom craziness. Toothbrushing time came to be something I loathed. Nobody could find their stuff no matter how many times I gave them each their own color-coded cups and brushes and paste. Or, when they could find it, someone else had used it. Ew. And, even when everything ran smoothly, there was still toothpaste gunk all over my bathroom sinks. It was always a battle. So, I decided to chunk it all and I started ordering prepasted disposable toothbrushes from Amazon and haven’t looked back. I also keep a healthy stock of paper plates and bowls on hand. If I don’t have a lot of time for dishes, or I’m already behind and they’re stacking up in the sink, we use paper plates. No shame! A few years ago, I was drowning in back-to-school forms when I decided that that was the last year I did them all myself. I ordered a signature stamp right after that, and for the last couple of years, my big girls have helped me fill out all the forms. They can even stamp my signature. This goes for school permission slips as well. Don’t worry! None of my kids would use that power for evil at this time, but I do keep it locked away when it isn’t needed.
Food. On Sunday afternoons I look over my schedule for the week and come up with a pretty loose meal plan and grocery list. (Hello, Walmart Grocery
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Pick Up, I declare my undying love to you! Thanks for all the time you save me!). I actually hate being locked into a rigid schedule of meals that I have to adhere to, but I do like to have a plan and then I can switch things around as needed. I try to do most of my shopping and meal prep on Sundays. That way I’m only dirtying up my kitchen one day a week. I’m all for slow cooker meals, instant pot meals, freezer meals, and multipurpose cooking (slow cooker shredded chicken can be used for BBQ sliders one night, and chicken tacos the next night). For weekdays, dinner is the only meal I cook, and if I did most of the meal prep on Sunday, I’m not making a terrible mess in my kitchen. I keep my refrigerators and freezers well stocked with the things they like for breakfast and to pack in their lunches, but I’m not making those meals for them. My youngest is four, so she does get some help, but the rest of them can pack their own lunches and make their own breakfasts. Cutting out intensive daily meal-making frees up a lot of time for me to be more engaged with my kids during the times I would be cooking and cleaning up after them.
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I’m a single mom with 8 kids and to answer your questions–
Yes, that is a lot of kids. Yes, they’re all mine. Child Responsibilities. My kids all help out around the house. They all like the way it feels when everything is neat and tidy, so they’re typically happy to help. I spend a lot of time explaining to them that being a part of a family is a lot like being a part of a machine. We all help do different jobs so that the whole unit runs the way it should. I also explain that when they help me with those jobs, that frees up my time to do other things they want me to do, like cook their dinner or help with school projects. Also, occasionally I hit the jackpot and find a chore they love to do. When we hit that sweet spot, I take a step back and let them enjoy themselves. We’re currently in a phase where they love the smell of Pinesol, so they’re happily picking up their toys because that means I’ll let them mop. Each kid gets the reward of mopping the room they pick up. Why would I say no to that?! GOTHAM BOOK GOTHAM BLACK
This obviously isn’t a comprehensive list of all the things all parents driving around in mega-vans do in their homes, but I think it does help give a general idea of how we make things happen. We also each have a pretty good understanding that families are all unique. What systems and activities work for some families won’t for others. But, a lot of this could easily apply across the board to families of all sizes. So, the next time you find yourself in a conversation with a parent of a tribe of unusual size, just know there’s a lot of behindthe-scenes work, but it’s not as hard as it may seem from the outside.
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HOMETOWN HEROES CAMP CORRAL BY JON FRITCHEY
Golden Corral formed the non-profit organization Camp Corral. In 2012, I was invited to a camp for their registration day. To this day, I still joke that GC knew exactly what they were doing. They put me at the end of the line! My job was to give the parents or guardian a Golden Corral gift card and a Visa gas card, which came as a complete surprise to them. I do not recall ever in my life getting so many hugs, sharing tears and hearing innocent children tell their stories. Why do I say GC knew what they were doing? Well, at one point, while running the Golden Corral in Ft Smith, before moving here to open the one in Rogers, I was one of the largest fundraising GM’s in the country for the Disabled American Veterans (DAV). So, on the way home, I told my wife that we just had to do something to raise money for these kids. I came up with the idea of hosting a golf tournament, and 2019 will be our 6th year. My wife is my biggest supporter, and my kids are not spared in this either. My team at the restaurant really gets behind this for the kids, and they are out there every year doing whatever it takes to make it a success. For me, it’s all about the kids. Through our fundraising efforts, we have raised $60,000 to send kids to camp! Golden Corral as a company has raised over $12 million dollars for veterans! My dad was a Vietnam veteran, and had a rough time, but he was a good dad. I wish there had been something like this when I was growing up. Basically, I feel really blessed to be able to make a difference. Finally, I could not pull it off without the tremendous support from the company I have worked with for the last 34 years, KMAC Enterprises & Golden Partners Inc., as well as Golden Corral Corp. The mission of Camp Corral is to transform the lives of children of wounded, injured, ill, and fallen military heroes by providing a unique summer camp experience. The vision behind Camp Corral is one where kids, ages 8 to 15, are free to be kids, far away from the day-to-day challenges they face as children of
60 September 2018
military service members and veterans. We partner with some of the best camps around the United States to host each session. Camp Corral has proven to be a “week of a lifetime,” providing kids non-stop fun with activities like canoeing, swimming, fishing, arts and crafts, rope course challenges, horseback riding, and more. Campers have the priceless opportunity to connect with other kids who understand the unique challenges that come with military life. Each of our host camps provide top-quality programming that teaches the skills needed to build emotional resilience. The positive effects may follow a child for a lifetime. Eighty-nine percent of Camp Corral campers have a parent who is wounded, injured, ill, or fallen due to military service. Twenty-four percent of campers come from dual military families, and 52 percent feel as though no one understands what it is like being a military child. Having one or both parents deployed and away from home for over a year is the norm for children from military families. The lives of military families have changed enormously since September 11, 2001. Unprecedented levels of deployment and the increased reliance on Reserve and Guard members mean that the number of American children with a parent who is a service member or veteran has increased dramatically. These children face unique challenges and make sacrifices beyond their years. They deserve a unique program like Camp Corral, which provides them with the opportunity to build emotional resilience in a camp setting. Camp Corral has a major impact on each child, and also on the entire family unit. In addition to the joy and hope parents feel as the result of their child’s camp experiences, they are often able to reconnect as a couple and strengthen their relationship while their child is away. To find out how you can be a part of the next golf tournament, or support Camp Corral, contact Jon at (479) 986-9201 or email jfritchey@att. net
2 hour facility rental includes your choice of activities, party room, party host, pizza, drinks and party supplies
ACTIVITIES INCLUDE Baseball, Softball, Soccer, Kickball, Flag Football, Batting Cages, Nerf Battle and Slime Making.
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www.strikezonenwa.com 1300 W. HUDSON RD, ROGERS AR Call 479-877-6877 or message us for pricing and to book your party
don’t let the flu don’t let the flu catch you! catch you!
Keep your children healthy this flu season.
Keep your children healthy this flu season. Call to schedule your child’s flu vaccine.
Call to schedule your child’s flu vaccine. Appointments available in Fayetteville or Pinnacle Appointments available in Fayetteville or Pinnacle Hills! Hills!
(479)442-7322 442-7322| nwapediatrics.com | nwapediatrics.com (479) Acute CareCare & Walk-In ClinicClinic Wellness Clinic Clinic Pinnacle Pinnacle Hills ClinicHills Clinic Acute & Walk-In Wellness 3380 N. Futrall Dr. 3383 N. MANA Ct., Suite 101 3730 S. Pinnacle Pkwy, Suite 3380 N. Futrall Dr. 3383 N. MANA Ct., Suite 101 3730 S.Hills Pinnacle Hills 3Pkwy, Fayetteville | 479.442.7322 Fayetteville | 479.443.3471 Rogers | 479.464.5597 Fayetteville | 479.442.7322 Fayetteville | 479.443.3471 Rogers | 479.464.5597
The flu is more dangerous than the common cold. The flu is many more children dangerous the seasonal commoninfluenza. cold. Each year, get than sick with
Each year, many children get sick with seasonal influenza.
Children are more likely to need medical when Children are care more likely to they have influenza. need medical care when
they have influenza.
Severe influenza complications are mostSevere common in children younger influenza complications are thanmost two years old. common in children younger
than two years old.
Kyle Thompson, DO, FACOG
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ARTS and MUSIC
Amazeum (Pg. 18) (479) 696-9280 Crystal Bridges (Pg. 43) (479) 418-5700 crystalbridges.org Trike Theatre (Pg. 27) (479) 464-5084 triketheatre.org
First Security (Pg. 47) www.fsbank.com; www.onlyinark.com
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Mint Dental Care (Pg. 53) (479) 385-6308 MintDentalAR.com Pediatric Dental Associates & Orthodontics (Pg. 4) (479) 582-0600
DERMATOLOGY / SKIN CARE
Advanced Dermatology (Pg. 31) (479) 268-3555 Hull Dermatology & Aesthetics (Pg. 23) (479) 254-9662 NWA Center for Plastic Surgery (Pg. 2) (479) 571-3100 nwacenterforplasticsurgery.com
Alan Redmon (Pg. 58) (479) 544-8250 email@example.com Preschool Place (Pg. 55) (479) 685-1891 Super Science (Pg. 17) (479) 444-0303 www.super-sci.com Thaden School (Pg. 13) (479) 268-5321
FAMILY FUN / ENTERTAINMENT Amazeum (Pg. 18) (479) 696-9280 Crystal Bridges (Pg. 43) (479) 418-5700
64 September 2018
To advertise email: firstname.lastname@example.org Farmland Adventures (Pg. 15) farmlandadventures.com (479) 799-5033 Riverside Entertainment Hayride (Pg. 35) http://riverside-entertainment.com/ Starlight Skatium (Pg. 29) (479) 444-STAR Strike Zone NWA (Pg. 61) strikezonenwa.com Super Science (Pg. 17) (479) 444-0303 www.super-sci.com Trike Theatre (Pg. 27) (479) 464-5084 triketheatre.org
FOOD / DRINK
TCBY (Pg. 3) (479) 636-8229 (TCBY)
HEALTH AND WELLNESS
Arkansas Children's Northwest (Pg. 11) ARchildrens.org/nyla Friendship Pediatric Services (Pg. 36) fccare.org Northwest Children's (Pg. 9) nw-physicians.com Revive Medical Spa (Pg. 45) revivemedicalspa.com
JEWELRY AND GIFTS
Avery Jane Designs (Pg. 65) averyjanedesigns.com (479) 466-0616 David Adams (Pg. 65) davidadams.com (479) 444-7778
Danielson Law Firm (Pg. 26) (479) 935-8313
Academic Math and Language Therapy (Pg. 5) (479) 253-3256 www.amltherapy.com ABC Happy Kids Learning Academy (Pg. 41) (479) 202-5691 abchappykids.com Aloha Learning Center (Pg. 55) (479) 696-7889 K12 (Pg. 41) (877) 344-8785
Absolute Pediatric Therapy (Pg. 25) absolutepediatrics.com Best Start (Pg. 37, 51) (479) 575-9359 Living Tree Pediatrics (Pg. 19) (479) 282-2966 Northwest Arkansas Pediatrics (Pg. 62) (479) 442-7322 NWApediatrics.com Northwest Pediatric Convenient Care (Pg. 7) (479) 751-2522 Ozark Pediatrics (Pg. 49) (479) 544-9432
Main Street Studios (Pg. 52, Cover) (479) 524-2004
Academic Math and Language Therapy (Pg. 5) (479) 253-3256 www.amltherapy.com Friendship Pediatric Services (Pg. 36) (479) 524-2456 Necessary Play (Pg. 31) necessary-play.com (479) 530-3514 NWA Health Solutions (Pg. 39) NWAhealthsolutions.com (479) 636-1324
Baby Face & More (Pg. 13) (479) 270-7391
Fit4Mom (Pg. 59) bentonvillerogers.fit4mom.com Parkhill (Pg. 21) Parkhillclinic.com Siloam Springs Women's Center (Pg. 63) (479) 524-9312 Willow Creek (Pg. 8) (479) 757-1730 Women's Health Associates (Pg. 67) whanwa.com
100 West Center, Ste 101 Fayetteville 479-444-7778
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Enjoy a day at the Fair with Peppa Pig! Carousel Spins!
Ferris Wheel Turns!
Get wavy in the Fun House Mirror
Peppa Pig’s Fair Playset Includes: 3 Figures & 3 Accessories Peppa Pig © Astley Baker Davies/Entertainment One UK Limited 2003. www.peppapig.com © 2018 Jazwares. All rights reserved.
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