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Clothing Jewelry ACCessories

shopbellaC Boutique has something for everyone to enjoy; carrying clothing sizes XS -XL with price points starting at $6 for gift items.

2411 w. BeeBe CApps • seArCy • (501) 279-2929 www.shopBellAC.Com open mon-fri 10:30-5:30, sAt 10:30-4

proud retAiler of

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issue 3 2014

Operation Wounded Warrior Support



Survivors In A Different Spectrum 46 Ten Ways To Ruin Your Life


Fishers Of Men 54 My Single Parent Life 58 Prom 2014 60 CSI: Investigating The Reality


Tales From The Dating Game


Is Your Medicine Robbing Your Body?


Medication Assistance Program


Parks & Recreation Community Calendar


Publisher’s Note 11 Hope Believe 12 Fashion Fun 18 Living In Searcy 22 We The People 28 Fab DIY 44 Over The Counter 70

“A flower does not think of how it will

Dinner & A Magazine 78

compete with the flower next to it; it just blooms.”

Out & About 79 Games & Puzzles 80

Out & About

On the Cover

Lara Johnson Beebe with daughters Alexandria & Laken

Photo by Betsy Ridout


Publisher Christine Walker Art Director & Webmaster Garrett Johnson Graphic Assistant Ikey Ray Editorial Assistant Cherie Sewell Makeover Coordinator Christine Locke Office Manager Chasity Thomas Contributing Independent Photographers Kimberly Brackins (501)279-1515 George Dillin (501)268-9304 Cassie Jones (501)230-0539 Candace Skarda (501)281-6297 Taylor Howard Photography (870)917-8012 Feature Writer Cecelia Wilson

Searcy Living Locally Owned and Operated 812 South Main Street Searcy, AR 72143 (501) 368-0095 For subscription information go to

Copyright 2014 Shark Promotions LLC. Searcy Living, Cabot Living, and Your Hometown Magazine are trademarks of Shark Promotions. All rights reserved. Ownership, rights, and logos are property of their respected businesses. No part may be reproduced without written permission. Shark Promotions LLC is not responsible for claims, misprints, discrepancies, advice of any kind, or content in advertisements or editorials, but will rectify errors in forthcoming issues.

Copyright Š 2014 Shark Promotions LLC

Searcy Living Magazine is a subsidiary of Shark Promotions LLC.

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You will never truly know yourself, or the strength of your relationships, until both have

been tested by adversity. Such knowledge is a true gift, for it is painfully won, and it has been worth more to me than any qualification I ever earned.” ~ J.K. Rowling

Always one of my favorites, the quote above comes to life in this issue for me, because of the inspirational content it contains. May you, too, be strengthened and encouraged as you read. And, again, thank you for reading Searcy Living Magazine.

Find Us On Follow Us On

Remember The Extras On

Operation Wounded Warrior Support

Survivors In A Different Spectrum

Is Your Medicine Robbing Your Body?

“They know firsthand what war is like and what it’s like to return home injured.”

“She is of the mindset that she can do anything, and frequently reminds us that she, in fact, isn’t ‘afraid of anything!’ I believe her.”

“Many medications we take rob us of vital nutrients needed for our bodies to function properly.”

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Hope Believe

Children enter foster care through no fault of their own. Most are in care due to abuse or extreme neglect.

* The Searcy Living Foster Care Boutique is simply a room in the Searcy Living business office that we have dedicated for use in helping foster families in need. Our awesome Searcy Living readers bring in donations; and DHS case workers and foster parents are able to “shop� for what they need for foster and disadvantaged children, at no cost. Our office is located at 812 S. Main Street in Searcy. We welcome gently used or new items. Thank you, Searcy, for your generosity and time spent to support the Foster Care Boutique!

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Case Dacus For His First Birthday! 13

Hope Believe Thank You! Searcy Elks Lodge 2247 ER Danny Hobby Charlie Marietta Pam Champlin

“ Blessed is he who has regard for the weak; the Lord delivers him in times of trouble.� ~ Psalms 41:1

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Needed Items

for the Foster Care Boutique • Underclothes. • Flip Flops in all sizes. • Diapers! All sizes. Never ending need. • Volunteers to sort. (No need to call for appointment, just stop by the Searcy Living office during volunteer hours between 1pm and 5pm.) 15

Hope Believe

As the old Proverb says, sometimes it does take a village to raise a child. Not one entity can provide the resources and support for all the children in need, but we can pull together and do our part. The children that the Foster Care Boutique helps are sometimes the most extreme needs in the community. Thank you for the clothing, diapers, and volunteer hours you have provided to this project.

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Thank You!

To Liberty Christian School 17


Jessica Goodwin enjoys a new look for summer thanks to Melissa Prince of Hays, who assembled Jessica’s outfit, and Ally Creech of Symmetrix Salon & Day Spa, who styled Jessica’s hair. Doris Yates of The Cosmetic Studio updated Jessica’s makeup for the new season, and our own Christine Walker commemorated the day with special photos. 18 Your Hometown Magazine

Christine Locke Makeover Coordinator

3005 E. Race St. • Searcy (501) 268-0800

In the Heart & Soul Plaza 1623 E. Beebe-Capps • Searcy (501) 279-2526

Turn the page for more fashion & beauty retailers. >>>>>>>>>>>>

2904 Hawkins Dr. • Searcy (501) 268-4540 19

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s p e c i a l e d iti o n IN SEARCY

A Visit of Home Features of the Past

The Wright Home Photos by Homan Photo

“This marvelous home is very warm and inviting, with accents of cool and modern colors.�

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The Huff Home Photos by Cassie Jones

“Bricked ceilings and beautiful arched architecture give this home unique features unlike any other.� 23

The Showalter Home

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“We have built a home place here. We cherish the memories and traditions that we have made.� 25

The Connell Home Photos by Cassie Jones

“Loving their children, foster children, and many others on a daily basis, this home provides a perfect environment for their busy lifestyle.�

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Foundation Celebrates Generosity of Donors White County Medical Foundation Recognizes, Thanks Donors for Support The White County Medical Foundation recently hosted its annual Donor Recognition Event to celebrate the generosity of its donors. “We are truly blessed to have the support of the community and our hospital family to be able to continue bringing quality patient care and advancements in healthcare to our patients,” said Foundation Executive Director Cassandra Feltrop. “We are excited about raising funds through the ‘Miracles Happen Every Day’ campaign to benefit our hospital’s New Life Center!” Funds given to the Foundation’s “Miracles Happen Every Day” campaign will help purchase the following: an advanced fetal monitoring system; state-of-the-art nursery equipment; a new triage area with four spaces for patients; an upgraded infant security system; and renovate six patient rooms into labor, delivery, recovery and post-partum (LDRP). Renovations to patient suites will include more amenities to help patients and their families feel right at home. Updates will include: big-screen televisions, more seating for families, a sofa that folds

out for sleeping and showers in all suites, custom built-in surface area with storage, new flooring and new rocking chairs. In its first campaign, the Foundation raised funds to help build the Cancer Center of Excellence, and the PEP Club also has raised funds to purchase a new transportation van for WCMC and its clinics, including Searcy Medical Center, SMC – West Clinic, Family Practice Associates, White County Oncology, WCMC Cardiology Clinic and the Orthopaedic and Spine Center of Central Arkansas. About The White County Medical Foundation The White County Medical Foundation is a charitable, notfor-profit corporation that serves to provide support for White County Medical Center. Donations to the White County Medical Foundation provide WCMC with funding for renovations, stateof-the-art equipment and special projects to enhance patient care. The Foundation extends the mission of White County Medical Center to create a healthy community through medical excellence and compassionate care.

White County Medical Foundation Annual Gifts Committee member Lynn Taggart; Annual Gifts Committee Co-Chairs Donna Rippey and Teresa Blakely; Annual Gifts Committee member Gina Scarborough; and Foundation Executive Director Cassandra Feltrop

White County Medical Foundation and White County Medical Center Board member Leah Miller with her husband Donnie Miller, and Pillars of Health members Barbara and Jim Wilson, WCMC Board member

Annual Gifts Committee members Sarah Oxner and Laura Freppon

PEP Club Committee members Sharon Middleton, Carolyn Nunnally, Danielle Smith, Sheila Wood and Brian Fritts

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PEP Club members Susan Siler, Peggy Turner, Ann Russell and Jessica Strickland 29

Josetta Wilkins Awards Honor White County Woman Myrtle Hughes is named a BreastCare Honoree

(From left: Myrtle Hughes; Vickie Martin; Dr. Josetta Wilkins; Sharon Rejistre)

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Myrtle Hughes of Searcy received an award from the Arkansas Department of Health BreastCare program for her work in the fight against breast cancer. Hughes was one of three chosen from a statewide field of advocates. She received the Volunteer Award. The Josetta Wilkins Awards are given to Arkansas breast cancer advocates for their outstanding work in breast cancer awareness, education and services. The annual awards, hosted by BreastCare, a program of the Arkansas Department of Health, are designed to shine a light on advocates and encourage them to continue to join forces with BreastCare to fight breast cancer. Myrtle Hughes is a long-time American Cancer Society (ACS) volunteer. Having been on both sides of cancer, she was influenced to raise awareness of breast as well as other forms of cancer. Myrtle lost her 4-year-old son to leukemia and later was diagnosed with breast cancer. Since 2003, she has been cancer free. She now devotes her time to planning and implementing fundraisers to benefit ACS. Since 2008, she has led a Relay for Life team for caregivers and survivors in Searcy that has raised over $60,000 for the fight against cancer. Other honorees this year include: Professional Individual – Vickie Martin R.T., Little Rock, Ark.; Organization – Pink Orchid, Pine Bluff, Ark. The Josetta Wilkins Awards are named in honor of former state representative Dr. Josetta Wilkins, whose unyielding perseverance and passion for fighting breast cancer in Arkansas led to the passage of the Breast Cancer Control Act of 1997, which ultimately created the BreastCare program. BreastCare provides breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnosis to uninsured women in Arkansas. Learn more at

Gym Stars Diamonds The Gym Stars Diamonds Senior level won an all paid bid to the US Finals in Pensacola, Florida. 31

ASU-Beebe: Students Named to 2014 Edition of Who’s Who Among Students Several students from Arkansas State University-Beebe were named to the 2014 Edition of Who’s Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges. The recipients, which include students who attend ASU-Beebe, ASU-Heber Springs, ASU-Searcy, and the Little Rock Air Force Base programs, were named to the following list, along with their hometown and major field of study. Mary Hannah Cornett, Drasco, liberal arts; Sarah D Dickerson, Heber Springs, business; Donna Ezell, El Paso, criminal justice; Crystal D Garcia, Heber Springs, health sciences; Travis Gardner, Mt. Vernon, welding technology; Lathan Todd Garnett, II, Pangburn, health sciences; Alex Gramling, Batesville, welding technology; Cassie Hartwick, Damascus, business; Samantha Heil, Searcy, office occupations; Wesley Henegar, Prim, welding technology; Dakota Henson, Choctaw, welding technology; Kendra Kannada, Cabot, health information/coding; Lauren L Martin, Beebe, agriculture/business; Emily McCabe, Fairfield Bay, teaching P4 specialty; Lyndsie McGhee, Quitman, animal science; Morgan McKay, Beebe, agriculture/business; Bridget J Messenger, Heber Springs, teaching P4 specialty; Dusti Marie Mize, Heber Springs, teaching math/sciences; Shianna Moiser, Heber Springs, teaching P4 specialty; Carmen Morales, Austin, liberal arts; Angel Mosley, Judsonia, office occupations; Rachel Nelson, Concord, business; Candice Newcomb, Greers Ferry, criminal justice; Caleb H Oyler, Heber Springs, business; Autumn Pruett, Pangburn, health sciences; Kathryn Richardson, Beebe, agriculture/business; Kara Scott, England, teaching language/social studies; Seth Swafford, Mountain View, business; Calvin Chris Tejas, Bradford, criminal justice; Ethan Thomas, Glenwood, agriculture/education; Whitney Treat, Searcy, health sciences; Miho Walczak, Cabot, business; David Forest Wicker, Searcy, health sciences. The students, who were recognized at the 2014 ASU-Beebe Student Awards Banquet, were chosen by faculty and staff, and were accepted by the editors of the annual Who’s Who directory based on their academic achievement, service to the community, leadership in extracurricular activities, and potential for continued success.

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Students learning the Italian folk song and dance “Tiritomba” in Mrs. Stegall’s music room.

In Mrs. Colburn’s art room, 3rd graders Conner Derrick and Gracie Lawson study the technique used by the Italian artist Michelangelo to paint the Sistine Chapel.

World Travelers at Sidney Deener Elementary Sidney Deener Elementary third graders are getting to travel the world this spring without leaving their school. This is due to the five activity teachers, Mrs. Rachel Stegall (Music), Mrs. Debbie Riley (Librarian), Coach Larry Stamps (P.E.), Mrs. Kay Evans (Counseling), and Mrs. Marian Colburn (Art) having a 7 week program in which each week the students learn about or “visit” a new country. The students start off visiting in Argentina, then travel to Italy, Spain, Korea, Guatemala, Canada and finish in Russia. They will have a mixture of geography, culture (including dance, music, art and literature), sports, and daily life as a student in elementary school. An immigration authority (student) will stamp the individual passport as they enter or exit the activity teacher’s classroom. Each country has 5 stamps to indicate the 5 activity teachers the students go to during the week studying that particular country. 33

ASU-Beebe: Students Provide Disaster Relief Students at Arkansas State University-Beebe combined efforts to provide disaster relief to the victims of the April 27 storms that caused widespread destruction in several central Arkansas counties. Personal vehicles were used to deliver four loads of donated water, clothing, non-perishable foods, and personal hygiene products. Items were donated by students, faculty and staff to student groups that included the Legacy Hall, Horizon Hall, Phi Beta Lambda, Agriculture Club, Criminal Justice, Gamma Beta Phi, and the Vet Tech Club. These groups were assisted by the University Police and Student Life in providing disaster relief needs and information on donation sites.

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Searcy Soccer U-7 2013-2014 League Champs Left to right: Lauren Pruitt, Rachel Elijah, Shelby Payne, Carlyn Smith, Lexi Brown, and Dee Henry. Coach: Randy Henry

Alexis with her advisor, Dr. Ray Franklin, Professor of Christian Missions. Alexis Kamerman was recently named to Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges. Alexis graduated Cum Laude from Ouachita Baptist University in May 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts in Christian Studies, emphasis in Christian Ministry, and minor in Psychology. She was a member of Tri Chi Women’s Social Club, Crossroads Ministry, Big Brother-Big Sister Program, Women’s Discipleship Ministry, Pruet Sisterhood, FAITH Evangelism Ministry Coordinator, and President of Theta Alpha Kappa, the National Honors Society for Theology and Religious Studies. While attending Ouachita, Alexis was placed on homecoming court by her peers, received the T.J. Connell Communicating the Gospel Teaching Award, and Outstanding Student in Christian Ministries Award. Alexis plans to pursue a career in Women’s Ministry encompassing Bible teaching, counseling, and discipleship. 35

Harding University College Of Pharmacy Professor Receives Mini-Grant Assistant Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences Kaci Bohn of the Harding University College of Pharmacy received a mini-grant from the Blue and You Foundation of Arkansas. Bohn was awarded $1,000 for her personal project of a children’s book covering medication safety. Bohn has been on the University College of Pharmacy faculty since 2011 and began her work on the children’s medication safety book January 2013. The book focuses on an interactive character, “Morty™,” a medicine capsule. This capsule teaches children to not put items in their mouths, and he changes colors throughout the story to indicate the proper and improper use of medicine. Bohn’s overall project goal is to create and develop a children’s medication safety program. The whole project will include the children’s book, an app for mobile phones and tablets, and a website all covering medication safety content. University alumna Maddi Wilkerson, illustrator of the book, and third-year pharmacy student Jessica Cox have assisted Bohn in developing the book. In addition, Holly Wilkerson and Jessica Knoske, also pharmacy students, have worked on creating the curriculum comprised of Power Point presentations, worksheets, coloring pages and activities. The book will also be available digitally on a number of mobile devices. The main target audience of the project is kindergarten through second-grade students. Bohn plans on using the funds to print the first set of books with Harding Press and send prototypes to local elementary school campuses within Searcy to receive feedback from students and teachers. Bohn is excited to receive this opportunity and is working diligently on the entire process of validation and curriculum development. She plans to distribute the prototypes this semester in order to finalize her work this summer and pursue a publisher. Harding is the largest private university in Arkansas with 6,295 students. University also maintains campuses in Australia, Chile, England, France, Greece, Italy and Zambia. For more information visit

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Sunshine School Fishing Derby 37

Ope r at io n

Wounded Warrior Su p p o rt

By Jennifer Skinner

“Never shall I fail my comrades.”

Nearly every

little boy dreams of being a hero, strong and brave, fighting for justice. They dream of going off to battle to save the world, of fighting evil and destroying the enemy. Many of these little boys grow into young men who still hold the vision to protect the innocent, to defend the weak, to be brave and strong in the face of danger. They grow up to be American soldiers. Then they leave their families and go away for months of training. They are driven hard for endurance. They are pushed to their physical limits and then further. They are programmed mentally to adapt to the perils of war, death, and gunfire. For the soldier, the adrenaline rush is the norm in training and in battle. They are conditioned to live minimally, to sleep in the hot sandy trenches, and to eat meal after meal from a bag. And they do it. Day after day, away from their families, they serve in the name of freedom and justice. They overcome the trials of battle. They prevail in the worst war zone conditions. But sometimes these strong, brave heroes fight the battles of their lives after they return home. The months and years of programming, training, and conditioning cannot prepare them for

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the loss of everything they know and everything they’ve become. In one second, a blast can take everything from them. It can strip them of their strength, their courage, and their limbs. In one blast they not only lose their bold fight for freedom, but they can also lose their independence. This would be devastating for anyone, but wounded soldiers return home to an unfamiliar life. They return to physical therapy and new handicaps. They have lost everything. But they are not asking for your sympathy, or your pity, or even your help. They just want to learn how to live their lives in productive ways. They want to know that there is a reason and purpose for them, despite their disabilities. Chances are good that we all know of a disabled veteran. We drive down the street behind a DV license plate and we think of the sacrifices they have made. The news of soldiers at war and the stories of loved ones returning home weigh heavy on our hearts. We pray every night for their safety, and sometimes we even send care packages and letters. But it doesn’t seem like enough, not for the soldiers who saved countless lives, but gave up so much of

theirs in the battle. We want to tell them that we care. We want to tell them that we appreciate their sacrifices. We want them to know that they are still needed and wanted in our society despite their injuries. The problem is that we often just don’t know how to show this appreciation. We don’t know how to say we care. We simply don’t know what to do. Fortunately, there are those who know exactly what to do and how to serve the hero who served for us. They know firsthand what war is like and what it’s like to return home injured. The local faith based nonprofit organization, Operation Wounded Warrior Support (OWWS), was founded by retired US Army Brigadier General, Dr. Jim Daniel. He knows that with guidance and mentorship these wounded warriors will lead productive lives. He founded Operation Wounded Warrior Support, a 501c3, which is funded by the Jubilee Foundation. The organization provides support for wounded soldiers through mentorship, scholarship aid, and duck hunting retreats. The world-class duck hunting takes place on prime hunting land and in elite, area hunting lodges. All necessary equipment and hunting gear is provided for free to those attending for the duck hunts. Meals, housing, and transportation on location are also provided for these soldiers. The schedule includes a reception for the soldiers, an afternoon of tactical shooting, and then rising at 3:30 a.m. for hunting. They have group times around the fireplace and delicious meals prepared by a talented cook. The soldiers experience generous Arkansas hospitality and duck hunting at its finest. But these duck hunting retreats also give the soldiers a chance to get to know other wounded soldiers who understand the challenges of dealing with injuries and the necessary life adjustments that have to be made. The duck hunts give wounded soldiers hope that, despite their disabilities, they can live productive lives and even enjoy hobbies such as duck hunting. These hunting excursions also provide an opportunity to offer spiritual guidance and long term mentorship as a source of encouragement for wounded soldiers. There are 39

several volunteers within OWWS who dedicate their time and services, and several businesses provide donations that contribute to the organization. Additionally, the nonprofit also provides scholarship aid for wounded soldiers who wish to obtain a college degree. The mission of Operation Wounded Warrior Support is “To provide compassionate support for our nation’s combat veterans.” Our soldiers have given so much. Isn’t it time to give back to them? If you would like to show your support and gratitude for their sacrifices, you can do so through their website or by sending your donation to P.O. Box 609, Bald Knob AR 72010. Your donation will be used to further support the work of OWWS, an organization run entirely on volunteers and funding. Please consider giving to this unique organization today and help our wounded soldiers find a way to live a productive life despite their injuries. The little boy’s dream to be strong and brave in the fight against terror may have given him a soldier’s vision and the wounds that go with it, but it doesn’t have to leave him without hope.

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H H H H H “The local faith based nonprofit organization, Operation Wounded Warrior Support (OWWS), was founded by retired US Army Brigadier General, Dr. Jim Daniel. He knows that with guidance and mentorship these wounded warriors will lead productive lives.� 41

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Chevron Chic


I began by painting my accent wall in my base color and then allowed it to dry. I strongly recommend using semi-gloss paint for easier maintenance and for the beautiful sheen it gives to the room.


To begin making my grid, I measured for my vertical lines. Starting on the left, I made marks in 2 foot increments down the length of the wall. (If you prefer a narrower pattern, use smaller measurements.)


Next, I used a chalk line from floor to ceiling at each mark, working my way from left to right. Chalk lines can be very messy, so be sure to have a vacuum cleaner on hand.

When my daughter told me that she wanted an accent wall in her bedroom, there was no doubt that I wanted to do a chevron pattern. Chevron is a fun and versatile pattern, but can sometimes be tricky when applying in a large area, such as a wall. I have seen several techniques used, including stencils, but most of them tend to be difficult or time consuming. I have found that using a “grid system� is the easiest and most efficient way to add a chevron pattern to a large space.

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After my vertical lines were completed, I used the same process to make horizontal lines, resulting in a grid of 2x2 squares.


Before I applied my top color, I first painted the edges of the painter’s tape in my base color to prevent any bleed through of my top color. This created a crisp clean line.


Next, I used painter’s tape from corner to corner in each square creating a “zig-zag” pattern.


After the base color was completely dry, I then painted alternating rows in my top color. I chose two completely different colors for a bold look. For a more subtle look, choose colors that are only a shade apart.


After the tape was applied, I used a damp cloth to remove all of the chalk lines from the wall.

With just a few simple steps, I was able to create a beautiful accent wall that my daughter will be able to enjoy for years to come! 45

“There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why… I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?” – Robert Kennedy


hey say that it isn’t the fastest, the strongest, or even the smartest who survive. Survival is awarded to those who adapt the most quickly. We all become adapted versions of ourselves as we endure the trials of our lives. It is up to us to find a way not only to survive, but to burn a pathway for others coming behind us. We must remember that not all are allowed to “survive,” and I believe we must honor them by taking action. I have witnessed such bravery in this life, in this community, in the eyes of my own daughter, Alexandria. I have decided we must share our story. I am opening up the very private and painful wounds of our family, in hopes that someone out there might not feel so… alone. In hopes that someone out there might be spurred on to fight. Our story is one of survival, though it was a very near miss. 46 Your Hometown Magazine

Apologies in advance for mistakes. As I write, I am also turning princesses into mermaids, washing off suckers, and trying to provide all the answers to the never-ending stream of questions aimed in my direction. My daughters are 3 and 4 - that puts us smack dab in the Era of “Why?”. I have many “Why’s” myself, I wish I had the answers. This is what I HAVE learned. This is where I’ve been. I say “I” because this is merely my perspective. It is my daughter that is physically the survivor of cancer, but regarding myself and my family, friends – we have also had to survive. It has been particularly hard on Laken, my oldest, and I worry for the impact this has made on her and the way she will see the world. Both girls already know far too much for their ages. My greatest hope is that by spreading awareness and inciting hope and action we will all find a way to be healed… to survive in a different spectrum. I must admit, I have had a hard time writing this. I wrote pages and pages of sadness. I wept as I wrote. Friends, I do not wish to inflict the pain that we have experienced on you. Many of you are suffering for your own reasons; I cannot add to that. What I

wish to leave you with, as you finish this article, is hope. One shred of hope can make you hold on, when you feel like letting go. Alexandria was diagnosed at around 11 weeks with Neuroblastoma, a pediatric cancer that originates in the adrenal gland. Parents: PAY ATTENTION - my daughter was misdiagnosed. We initially took her to our pediatrician because of a lump that had developed on her back. She also cried incessantly – almost 24 hours a day – and she’d been vomiting quite forcefully. Alarmed as we were, the doctor said that the lump was nothing serious, probably a pulled muscle that occurred during childbirth. He said it had no definitive edges, so it wasn’t a tumor or anything. As for the crying, she was probably just a fussy baby. The vomiting, he said, might be the result of a milk allergy. We walked out of the doctor’s office with a sense of relief, not knowing what monster was hiding beneath her delicate skin. If only we’d had an ultrasound… something? The tumor was crushing her spinal column. The pain must have been relentless. We waited, trusting our doctor. If only we’d gone sooner. Thankfully, we

decided to get a second opinion, and visited a pediatrician who immediately sent Alexandria for an ultrasound. He appeared alarmed. Not the face a family wants to see. We were then sent to Arkansas Children’s Hospital and further testing was done. We went home. That was the end of our “B.C” period, that being the time “Before Cancer.” Soon we received the call that changed everything. My husband and I were to very carefully, but quickly bring Alex to the hospital. They had found a large mass that encircled her spinal column. Emergency surgery was performed. Chaos ensued. The neurosurgeon finally emerged and we were told that they had removed as much of the tumor as they could. The rest would have to be treated with chemotherapy, because it was too close to her aorta and vena cava. An inactive mass still remains, a ganglioneuroma. Alexandria has had MRI scans, CT scans, and nuclear tests innumerable times, and they continue. Those are scary days. The surgery required parts of her vertebrae to be taken apart and then reattached, to disentangle the tumor and release pressure on her spinal cord. I remember him saying that it was 47

paper thin, but had expanded when the mass was removed. Then came more news. The nerves in the L1-L2 area had been “obliterated”- she would most likely never walk. I used to dream of my daughters walking through fields of flowers, hand-inhand. A dream that should be so sweet, tortured me, because at that point, I didn’t think it was ever going to be a possibility. So, we were left with that. She had survived surgery. We would fight for her life with chemo, blood and platelet transfusions. I am so thankful that I have the family that I do. Not everyone has that support. My dear mother stayed night after night in the hospital. Without her I could not have weathered this. Laken spent much time with her Grandma and Grandpa on the campaign trail. They are also very dear to me, and I am glad Laken had their influence during this time. I am thankful for my entire family. We stood together, and that made all the difference. We were put on countless prayer lists around the state, and it is amazing the effect that can have on a difficult situation. There is no language to describe the thankfulness that burns in my heart. Also, our community dropped off dinners, left encouraging notes… I will never forget. In the end, we must all save each other. Thank you to the many people who provided that lesson. We still fight for progress. Though we face many complications (hip surgeries, tendon transfers, problems resulting from her Scoliosis, etc.) and worry about what the future holds for her, we

realize we have been blessed. Alexandria has come so far. She is truly a force to be reckoned with, as anyone who knows her can tell you. She is of the mindset that she can do anything, and frequently reminds us that she, in fact, isn’t “afraid of anything!” I believe her. Also, I must add that Laken has been her greatest fan, and biggest supporter. I learn a lesson from that little prodigy every day. We cannot forget the impact that illness has on siblings; they suffer much in their own way. But they also provide so much encouragement, and by the way, these two sisters just might conquer the world. Alexandria, after many castings, heel cord extension surgeries, etc., is now walking with the aid of plastic braces. (Pink! Of course!) Things are definitely harder for her, but you’ll never hear her complain. The falls she takes make me cringe, but up she pops, with a smile or even a laugh and a quick “I’m okay!” I let her give me the comfort she offers, as she knows I worry. Even though a massive bruise might appear the next day, she refuses all sympathy. She visits Pediatric Therapy Associates twice a week to “work.” They make it a lot of fun for her and it has produced great support, better balance, and progress -and I am ever grateful for that. (I will be conducting pediatric yoga classes along with the great therapists at Pediatric Therapy Associates this summer -- please see our ad in this issue. All children are welcome!) Since Alexandria’s diagnosis, I have decided that I cannot travel the world on modelling jobs as I used to, and I am truly enjoying my new career as a real estate agent. My family and I have decided to work with ACH. I know the idea of kids battling cancer is a hard topic for people to cope with – and I understand 48 Your Hometown Magazine

– but it must be addressed. I promised myself that when my daughter was healed I would go to work on behalf of the doctors, nurses, staff, volunteers and others who helped us when we needed it the most. I’m honored that our family has been chosen to serve as an Arkansas Children’s Hospital Ambassador Family for 2014. As one of 13 ambassador families, we’ll travel the state to share our story at events, meetings and fundraisers. It’s my goal to make sure that everyone in this state understands just how blessed we are to have ACH, RIGHT HERE in our backyard. ACH treats 90% of all the children in Arkansas who are diagnosed with pediatric cancer. That’s roughly 1,000 kids a year. And those kids need your help to beat cancer. Your donations to Arkansas Children’s Hospital help kids like my Alexandria every day. As a mother of a child who’s life was saved by the doctors at ACH, I thank you. But there’s still more to be done to make sure every child in Arkansas has the possibility of a healthier future. Many of the other cancer patients we’ve met over the years at ACH – my comrades in the war we waged – are still there, fighting. Some are gone. And I can’t stand it. Together, we can help children beat cancer. As Margaret Mead said, “Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.” If you’d like to give a gift to ACH in honor of Alexandria – or in honor of any of the 1,000 children treated for pediatric cancers or blood disorders every year at ACH – it’s very simple. Even a small gift can make a big difference. Just visit or call 800-880-7491. – Lara Johnson Beebe

“Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.” Margaret Mead 49

Notes From the Photographer, Betsy Ridout It is rare that I point a lens at someone I do not know. Not gonna lie… I was a bit intimidated. As my boys said about Lara, “She’s legit, Mom. If you Google Ford plus size models, Lara comes up on the Wikipedia!” I was rushing around trying to finish up my ghetto backdrop that was tantamount to a hand painted tablecloth. I had it hanging in front of my 10-foot double front doors, and it kept falling down around me, getting wet paint on my clothes and in my hair. Thank goodness, Lara was running late. Opposed to punctuality myself, I started to like her as she unknowingly indulged me with some much needed extra minutes as I tried to pull myself together. As I said, I didn’t know Lara, but I had seen her before. I had watched her one day last summer with her youngest daughter at a restaurant. She had no idea I was watching her. Something about Lara makes you want to watch her. It’s more than the fact that she’s beautiful. She and her little girl were dressed in these bright, whimsical clothes. Her daughter, who looked to be about three years old, had purple and white striped knee socks pulled over leg braces. As they waited for a table, the little girl danced and twirled around Lara’s long legs. I was enthralled by them. They were… ermmmm, I hesitate to use the word, but it’s the only word that’s right… They were magical. Lara didn’t see me reach into my bag for my camera and start to snap pictures. She didn’t see me because she was completely captivated by her daughter.

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Anyway, I wanted to meet with Lara alone first….

Lara arrived with a messy pile of treasures: Faragammo boots she bought at a vintage shop in Berlin, a gobby necklace from Dubai, and stories of difficult shoots in the sandstorms of Sud Afrika and the blinding sun of Santorini. I think her most telling accessory, however, was her throaty laugh. It was girlish and raspy and told me she had lived a life I wanted to hear about. Lara Johnson Beebe is a classic, timeless beauty who made me remember the icy good looks of Tippi Hedron and Grace Kelly, along with the vulnerability and appeal of Marilyn and Bardot. What a gift to spend time with and know Lara, and have her now as a friend with her complicated life, her intelligence, her warmth, and her sweet bravura.

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By Jonathan Pokluda No one ever plans to ruin their life. Nobody makes that a goal, or a New Year’s resolution, or an integral part of their 5-year plan. Kids don’t sit around and dream about growing up to be an alcoholic; students don’t go to class to learn how to be bankrupt; brides and grooms don’t go to the altar expecting their marriage to fail. Nobody ever plans for it, but it does happen. It happens far too often. And it happens because of the choices we make, even though that is not a result that anyone would ever willingly choose. Most of those choices take place when people are relatively young—old enough to be making important decisions about their life, but young enough for those decisions to snowball and grow to have disastrous consequences. In other words, these are choices of young adults. How can we avoid making such mistakes? Below are 10 things people can do to ruin their lives while still in their 20s. It is a list of what not to do, or things to stop doing immediately if you don’t want to suffer the results. 1. Believe that ideas don’t have consequences. This was the biggest lie I believed in my twenties. I thought I could do what I wanted and get away with it; after all, I’m young. But I’ve since learned otherwise. Right now you are in the process of becoming what you will one day be. You are preparing for something. You are either doing the things that will prepare you to be a great spouse, parent, employee, friend, etc.; or, you are preparing to be the opposite of that. Everything you think and do now will lead you down one of those paths. The simple believe anything, but the prudent give thought to their steps. – Proverbs 14:15 2. Live outside your means. When you spend more than you can afford, you still have to pay for it—plus interest. By living the “good life” now, you ensure you’ll be living the bad life of debt payments, downsizing, financial worries, and delayed/nonexistent retirement in your future decades. Many people today are still paying for experiences that happened years ago, long after the “instant gratification” has been forgotten. The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender. – Proverbs 22:7 3. Feed an addiction. Whether it is alcohol, money, drugs, pornography, shopping, or whatever, it seems like most people have an addiction of some kind. These addictions bring death: either literal death, or death to relationships, to freedom, and to joy. How do addictions happen? You feed them. I’ve been addicted to several things, and each of them took work to develop. You don’t drink one beer and immediately get addicted; it takes repetition, just like exercise. The more you do a thing, the stronger the addiction grows, and the harder it is to stop doing it. Stop now; it will only be harder with “one last time.” The righteousness of the upright delivers them, but the unfaithful are trapped by evil desires. – Proverbs 11:6 4. Run with fools. Fact: you are becoming who you hang around with. It’s been said you are the average of the five people you s p e n d the most time with. You do what they do (because you’re doing 52 Your Hometown Magazine

it together), you pick up on their ideas and beliefs, and you even learn their mannerisms and language. So if you hang around with idiots, or addicts, or criminals, that’s what you will become. But if you hang around with wise people, who are committed to following Christ and to making a difference with their lives, then that is what you’ll become. Change your playmates and playground. Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm. – Proverbs 13:20

5. Carelessly give your heart away. Want heartbreak? Give your heart to someone who will break it. And how do you know who will break it? Everyone will, except for someone who truly commits to protecting your heart and loving you until the end, no matter what. If they are really willing to commit to that, they will gladly do so officially through marriage vows. So, only give your heart away once—at your wedding. Until then, be careful with your heart. Be careful with what entertains it and what you allow it to seek. You may not be able to choose who you love, but you can choose who you let love grow with. Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. – Proverbs 4:23 6. Tolerate evil. You’ve probably heard the quote: “The only thing necessary for evil to prevail is for good people to do nothing.” Well, it’s true. Because there is evil in the world, actively seeking to destroy others, and if nobody opposes those actions they will succeed. And then eventually you’ll be the target. “Tolerance” is a big word right now, and is often held up as an absolute good—that you should always tolerate every person and every idea. But some people kill. Some take part in  sex trafficking. Some promote ideas of genocide or infanticide, or argue that they should be able to sleep with whomever they feel like. God does not tolerate sin; He paid for it. Stand against evil, or one day there may be no one left to stand for you. To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech. Proverbs 8:13

7. Make secondary things ultimate and ultimate things secondary. If an outsider were to observe how you spend your time and resources, what would they end up saying your life is about? Making money? Looking good? Fantasy football? Would they say you worship God, or worship that 60-inch HD TV? There is nothing wrong with working, or working out, or having hobbies, or being interested in the opposite sex. Those are all good things, if you don’t go overboard and make them the focus of your life. They are all secondary, the side dishes of an eternal life. God is ultimate, is the very reason you are here, and is the only one of those things that will last forever. Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God. – Proverbs 30:8-9 8. Believe that this life is all about you. You are one of seven billion people alive currently, and though you  are  special, so is each of the other 6,999,999,999—and the billions who have come before but are now long dead and forgotten. You are not the star of this show. You have a cameo that will be forgotten as soon as the screen changes. People who become the biggest thing in their world are dysfunctional. They have a skewed view. They will always end up either disappointed or delusional. And when they go, their world disappears; they don’t actually leave any impact. If you do want to be important and make a difference, live for God. Resolve to give your life away for something bigger, and make an impact on the people around you. Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. – Proverbs 16:18

There you have it: how to ruin your life in 10 simple steps. Now please don’t. Instead, make these your resolutions:

Resolve to walk with God this year. Resolve to live below your means. Resolve to starve addictions. Resolve to change your playmates & playground. Resolve to be careful with your heart. Resolve to stand against the evil around you. Resolve to prioritize the things of God above all. Resolve to give your life away for something bigger. Resolve to hold out for God’s best. Resolve not to do any of this alone.

9. Live for immediate gratification. Almost nothing truly worthwhile comes quickly. It takes time and discipline to become an Olympic athlete, or to simply get in shape; to get a degree, or become a CPA, or become a great husband or wife. And any of the things you truly want long-term can be derailed by indulging yourself in the moment. Do you want an amazing marriage, or just one amazing night? Do you want to retire in 36 years, or drive a luxury car for the next 36 months? Because in each case, choosing the latter makes it more difficult (or impossible) to have the former. Don’t choose ramen over riches. The wise store up choice food and olive oil, but fools gulp theirs down. – Proverbs 21:20 10. Avoid accountability. We all have the tendency to screw up, or be blind to our own failings, or to convince ourselves that we can change on our own even though it’s never worked in the past. That’s why God created us to live in community with others: so we can encourage each other, or point out blind spots, or have help in times of weakness. But are you running to community and accountability, or running away from it? Some people avoid it like the plague. The only reason you avoid accountability is because you don’t want to be corrected, even though that means you then continue to do the things that ruin your life. If you really want to change, and really want to put God first every day, then do the one simple thing that makes that possible: Christ-centered community. Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but whoever hates correction is stupid. – Proverbs 12:1 There you have it: how to ruin your life in 10 simple steps. Now please don’t. Instead, make these your resolutions: 53

By Jamie McAnelly


I went to our Men’s Fellowship meeting the following Thursday t is truly amazing how your perspective changes when Jesus comes into your life and you experience the and told the group about the previous weekend. I soon realized that miracle of salvation. About nine years ago I was invited by THESE were the men that I wanted to experience a trip like this my employer to go on a guided fishing trip to the Norfork River, with, THESE were the brothers in Christ that I wanted to develop all expenses paid! It was everything a fisherman could ask for; a deeper relation with. After sharing with them, the Chair Deacon a beautiful setting on the river, wonderful food to eat and door in the group said, “Why don’t you put a trip together for us?” My prizes ranging from fishing poles to guns to $500 gift cards. I was reaction was a jaw drop with a resounding, “Whaaat?!!?” I had very excited and grateful to be included in all the activities, since I never tried to put together or organize anything like this. After had been with this company for only a short time. Naturally, with researching it a while, it seemed that it would probably be too this being an outdoor-centered men’s weekend, there was plenty expensive for our group. But, I approached the guys with the price of adult beverages. I made sure my cooler was full and, as usual, per person and all they said was “Ok!” My response was simple, I overindulged. The next day, I hardly enjoyed the fishing due to a “Really? You’re just going to trust me to make this happen?” I hoped that if we got at least eight to go on the trip, we could pounding hangover. While I should have been having get a cabin to ourselves. Funny thing is that the time of my life hauling in those trout, God had something else in mind. We I was worried about my behavior the showed up at the resort with a group prior evening… did I make a fool “This is the time that will be remembered of twenty-three! Well in excess of of myself in front of my bosses? as time goes by, this is the time when we are my expectations. Matt Mosler, of Thank goodness, no one was upset closest to our brothers and lift them up to Beautiful Feet Ministries, was our about it except me! an awesome God.” guest speaker on that first trip. We A little less than a year after the occupied three cabins and had three trip, I started going to church at Central different church services in the common picnic Baptist in Bald Knob, the church my wife had grown up attending. When my mother-in-law asked if she could area that weekend. It was so much more than I had ever imagined start taking my three-year-old daughter to church (because we it could be. But the best was yet to come! When we returned to weren’t), I became convicted that this was my responsibility. I church that Sunday night, we gathered for a testimonial service. won’t get into my full testimony here, but I went through some Funny that no one ever mentioned that it rained while we were serious and awesome changes in my life. I accepted Jesus Christ fishing that Saturday. Actually, hardly anyone talked about the fishing at all; we were too caught up telling of the fellowship and as my Savior and thank God, I have been saved. A couple of months after my salvation, it was time to go on the the worship. The setting allowed us to relax and have fun while annual company trip again. I was excited to return, and looked also letting down our guards and addressing issues that we struggle forward to all the freebies that accompanied the trip. When I with daily. The cherry on top of this crazy, God-blessed weekend arrived, I realized that this year was different for me. I hadn’t had was when, during the testimonials, a friend from the trip made that a drink since the day I accepted Christ. I was very thankful to be walk down the aisle and accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior. That included on the trip, but I wasn’t sure how I was going to handle was almost more than my heart could stand! I can still see all the the temptation of my old ways. I was still literally a babe in Christ. men in the church that night circling our new brother in Christ, I felt somewhat alone, and found myself more and more in prayer. how over-whelmed I became with God’s boundless joy in my soul. I kept wishing I had one of my new Christian brothers with me I literally wilted to the ground in tears. Because of the conviction to keep me accountable. This was the spark of a conviction. This God gave me on a company trip, we had just witnessed another spark continued to grow throughout the weekend. I kept thinking, name written in the Book of Life. I sat amazed. There have been six more annual “Fishers of Men” retreats “How cool would it be to be in this beautiful, God-created setting since that first year. Each year has seen us grow in numbers and with guys that shared my faith, God-fearing men that wanted to excitement. I have seen men changed, convicted and sometimes draw nearer to Christ?”

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saved on these trips. It is really hard for me to find words to express how important and instrumental this weekend of fellowship and sharing has become to all of us that attend. I have witnessed honesty, love, compassion, self-sacrifice, competition, servanthood, worship, conviction, and just plain enjoyment. It’s one of those “God” things that you can’t understand unless you experience it.

Although this fishing trip started as a Central Baptist Church retreat, it has always been open to anyone wanting to come along. On the second year’s trip, a visitor from Immanuel Baptist Church in El Dorado came with us. He now brings a full group from his area. Guys come from Bald Knob, Batesville, Searcy, and El Dorado. As some of our past guest speakers have shared their experiences of the trip with other churches, we have been able to draw participants from out of state. One group from Louisiana joins us annually, and one guy drove from Florida! Last year’s trip was a very exciting one. Our guest speaker/ musician team called the day before the event and cancelled. They felt that the Lord was leading them another direction. Of course, I went into frantic, panic mode! But as always, God produces better than I can ever plan. It just so happened that a couple of the guys on the trip had messages to share that God had lain on their hearts. One of them was a hearing-impaired gentleman who is a thirteen year graduate of hospice care. God was truly at work that morning, his message and his voice were the clearest I have ever heard him speak. What a blessing! We also invited one of the guides that we had just met that Saturday to come to the meeting later that evening. He shared his awesome voice in a special song for us. You just can’t plan this stuff. God knows our needs, he always provides. This year’s trip is scheduled to be August 15-17. Any man sixteen years old and up are invited to attend. The cost is $300 per person. I am praying that we are able to get some sponsors this year to allow me to reduce this price and open the doors for more men to attend and experience the awesomeness of this weekend. This is 100% nonprofit; the entire price goes towards the retreat. Through the years, donations have sometimes allowed us to provide the weekend under budget, when that happens, I am able to refund part of the cost to each participant. “Fishers of Men” takes place at the Norfork River Resort in Norfork AR, where we stay two nights in very accommodating cabins. Arriving Friday night, we enjoy an awesome meal followed by announcements and directions for the weekend. Everyone gets an event T-shirt and we draw names to partner up for the next day’s fishing. This evening is a great ice breaker to allow everyone to get to know each other. We end the night with a devotion and song. Saturday morning you wake up to a huge breakfast of eggs, bacon, biscuits and gravy, fruit, coffee and juice. After breakfast, we meet at the boat dock where we find our partner and set out with a professional guide who makes sure that we catch all the fish we can stand! After a morning of fishing, we meet back at the resort for lunch, where the guides clean our catch and add them to the rest of the fixin’s of taters, coleslaw and desserts for a wonderful, freshly prepared shore lunch. Then we go back out with the guides for a few more hours of fishing. The late afternoon is spent taking it easy around the cabins and, of course, swapping fish stories! Later that night, we gather together to enjoy a meal that I take much joy in preparing: smoked baby back ribs and chicken quarters with lots of side dishes. After all the good eats and big fish stories, we get deep

 The Fishers of Men Retreat is a men’s weekend centered around Christian fellowship, teaching, and fun and takes place on the Norfork River. 55

“I have witnessed honesty, love, compassion, self-sacrifice, competition, servanthood, worship, conviction, and just plain enjoyment.” 2013

into a worship setting and share God’s word. Usually, this is where the men can bring their testimonies and prayer requests. They share of answered prayers, burdens being lifted, lives being changed. This is the time that will be remembered as time goes by, this is the time when we are closest to our brothers and lift them up to an awesome God. When our corporate worship concludes and all the door prizes and goodies are handed out, we dismiss. But that’s not the end, because the energy from the meeting always carries back to the cabins in a closer, more intimate setting. God never fails to give us what we need that night. The weekend finally ends outside, at the edge of the river, where we have a special Sunday morning service overlooking

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God’s beautiful creation. The event comes to a close as we conclude this service with a group photo. It is always a genuine moment as everyone finishes their goodbyes and leaves the resort. The weekend may be over, but our excitement over the fellowship with our brothers in Christ is motivating and our charge as Christians to “go and tell” has just begun! It’s crazy when I think that this has all started with a conviction to share a weekend with my new Christian brothers. Over the years, the trip has really shaped itself. It has truly become a Proverbs 27:17 “as iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend” weekend. God has truly blessed this event each year and I have been blessed just to be a part of it.


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I would like to tell you my story. My name is Tanya and I have to tell you I have lived a sinful life. But I believe this is the life the Lord had planned for me. I have two beautiful daughters now, both born out of wedlock. Sarra is fourteen (14) years old and Sophie is six (6) years old. They are my world. My oldest has never met her biological father and my youngest, her father moved away. Yes, they do feel the tension of not having a father, but they are blessed with a grandfather who would do anything for them. For me, being a single parent, my girls are very well behaved, pleasant, and respectful. I thank God every day for my girls. Without my oldest, I would probably have been an alcoholic. But as soon as I found out that I was pregnant, I quit drinking. I feel this is the first of two times she has saved my life. The second time was when she accepted Christ as her Savior. Two wonderful women from Trinity Baptist Church came over and prayed with Sarra and spoke with me about recommitting my life to the Lord. From that day on, I have been living my life for Christ. If Sarra had not asked Christ to come into her heart, I wouldn’t have changed my life and asked for forgiveness. God is so good! My little one, Sophie, is very shy. Sophie and I have a very strong bond. This could be because I got to see her grow up more than I did Sarra. I had a full-time job when Sarra was little. But with Sophie, I was a full-time student. When I found out I was pregnant with Sophie, it was about a month after my best friend passed away. She had wanted me to have a baby so bad. I think she had baby fever. But I knew there was no way I could; even though I was dating a guy, who did end up being Sophie’s father. But, I have to tell the story of Diane before I can tell you about Sophie. Diane was my best friend. We were more like family. We spent holidays together and had fun times. The Monday before her 58 Your Hometown Magazine

passing, I took her to Little Rock for a doctor’s appointment, and afterwards we went shopping. We had the best time that we had ever had together. Saturday, February 10, is a day I will never forget. I woke up that morning, just like any other morning. But as this day progressed, I had an overwhelming need to talk to Diane. So I tried calling her and texting her, but she did not respond to either. I went to her house and knocked on the door. She didn’t answer. It was a weekend and I knew she liked to sleep in when she was off work, so I went home. A few hours later I got this nagging feeling again that I need to talk to her. So, again, I went to her house. The time was about 5:30 pm and I figured she would be up then. So, I knocked on the door but no answer; I tried calling again, still nothing. Again I went home worried about her. I told myself she was just still asleep. About 9:00 pm I couldn’t stand it anymore and went back to her house. I knew if I continually rang the doorbell it would make her mad enough to answer the door, but this still didn’t work. I walked around the house to make sure everything was secure, and it was; her bathroom light was on so she had to be up. During this time I did try to get into the house. I had a key to the front door, but the dang storm door was locked and I couldn’t get it open. I called my mother and I was frantic. She said to call Diane’s son and she would come wait outside with me until he got there. So that is what I did. I called her son and told him what was going on and he said he would be there in 30 minutes. When he showed up, he tried to open the storm door, too, eventually breaking it, but still could not get it open. Now outside of her house are me, my mother, Diane’s son and his wife. We needed to get in! We found that the kitchen window, which was about 6 feet off the ground, was open. So her son lifted me up into the window. After I got in the house, I went and let everyone else in. My worst fears had come true. She was face down on the floor, in front of the front door. I ran to her, fell to my knees and was crying. My mind was saying, “Is this possible, how can this be real?” But it was. Her son called 911, while my mom pulled me up and out of the room. The next thing I remember is the ambulance,

fire trucks, police, and the coroner were there. The coroner said from the temperature of the body that she died at about 5:30 that evening. I was right on the other side of the door when she passed away, and I could not get to her. I sat in my truck in total disbelief that my best friend was gone, taken away just days after we had so much fun together. But as I sat there with tears in my eyes, our awesome God spoke to me. To me!!!! He said, “It is time to go back to school.” So that is what I did. I hate that such a wonderful person had to leave this cruel earth for me to change my life, but God is never wrong. I never did find out what happened to her, why she passed away. But I do know in my heart that she is walking with Jesus. She is watching over me every day. Now, it is time to tell you how Sophie came about. Remember, I told you she wanted me to have a baby. What are the odds that I would get pregnant the very next month, when I was on birth control? So, now I have Sophie Diane. I gave her Diane as a middle name for my best friend in heaven. Now let me tell you how my life has been since that fateful day. I registered for school at ASU-Beebe, and within three years I had two associates’ degrees. Because I am a single woman, there are not many options in the job market. I decided I would get a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management. There will always be business jobs. Well, after one semester I knew that was not where I was supposed to be. I decided to take a semester off and figure out what God really wanted for me. God has his way of making himself known; he led me to apply to Harding University. I planned to be a psychology major with a social work minor. But the first day of Intro to Social Work, I changed my major to social work. This is my calling. When I was studying at ASU-Beebe, I started a single parent group on campus and was able to reach out and help other people like me. I did not know it at the time, but that was social work. So here I am, in my last semester of my senior year at Harding University, as I write this story. I am doing my social work field practice (internship) at White River Area Agency on Aging, Inc., learning a lot about the elderly in our community. But my passion is to work with single parents, and I hope to one day open an outreach center for single parents. This center would have all the possible resources that a single parent would ever need. I dream to have monthly meetings with the single parents, Bible studies, outings, and good ole get togethers. But there would also be the serious side of the program; confidential individual and family counseling, abuse networks, financial counseling, parenting classes, help with filling out forms from DHS to taxes, an open door to any and all single parents, rich or poor. There will be no judgments here, only love. Jesus is our rock, and he will provide. I know this was a long story that has no ending, because I don’t want my story to end. I want all single parents to be able to have a place that they can go to without being judged because of their situation. Jesus hung out with sinners, he searched for the lost. I want to help Jesus find the lost single parents and lead them to Him. All I ask from you, the reader, is to pray that someday my dream will come true. 59

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Parks & Rec


See page 76 for Searcy Parks & Recreation’s Community Calendar.

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By Jennifer Skinner

earning to discern television drama from reality is not usually too difficult for adults, but it can be more complicated for children to understand where the myths of television detective work give way to the truths of crime solving reality. Over the years, Searcy Parks and Recreation has offered a unique and fun educational Crime Scene Investigation program for children ages 8-15. According to Mike Parsons, the Assistant Parks Director who helped to develop the program, Searcy detectives begin on day one to teach the truth about how evidence is collected and analyzed during an investigation. Those participating in the program are provided with their own black powder fingerprint kit and are taught how to use it. The students get real hands on experience learning the differences between actual investigative work and the myths of television. This exciting four day program offers a fun summer activity for children to learn interesting things like the uniqueness of their fingerprints, the importance of teamwork, and the unrealistic time lapses in television, explains Parsons. He also explains that children work mock crime scenes to find and analyze evidence. Then they identify the suspected criminal, and an arrest is made before the case is heard in a mock trial. The program was developed to provide a unique summer activity for children. Searcy Parks and Recreation works with many different volunteers from a number of organizations such as Searcy Police and Detectives, North Star EMS, and sometimes White County Officers, too. These agencies work together, volunteering their time to show children the real aspects of detective work, from gathering evidence at the crime scene to taking the case to trial in Judge Hannah’s real courtroom. Judge Craig Hannah explains that the program, “Allows our youth to see how our court system works. They’re getting a good experience of the whole process. It’s a much better experience if they can have it in the courtroom.” He explains that the children in the program learn that CSI work “is not what it seems to be on TV.” Judge Hannah has been involved with the program for several years and offers his courtroom for the CSI program’s mock trials when possible. Searcy Detective Brian Wyatt, who has taught the class in past years, says, “The crime scene tells us a story. The evidence tells us what happened.” He explains that students learn that, “it’s hard not to leave some type of evidence when a crime is committed.” They learn about the different types of evidence. They learn about

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the methods of dusting for fingerprints, collecting photos, and analyzing indoor and outdoor crime scenes. Detective Wyatt says he volunteers to help in the program because he “really enjoys working with the kids and hopes to give them a better understanding of detective work.” He hopes to “give them inspiration to work in law enforcement one day, to open some doors for possible career choices.” Detective Wyatt explains that it’s fun for the kids because they become intrigued with how real detective work looks and the equipment used in the investigative work. They enjoy the hands on activities and experience working the actual mock crime scenes. The children in the program get an inside look at the field of CSI work, so they walk away with a broader understanding from their fun hands-on experience in the summer activity. This is accomplished because of the generous volunteers who dedicate their time and efforts to the program simply because they enjoy working with children in the community and hope to influence their futures in a positive realistic way. Searcy Parks & Recreation Offices Inside Carmichael Community Center 801 S. Elm St. • Searcy, AR Call 501-279-1010

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Chicken Soup for the Soul shares heartwarming, humorous stories about looking for love and finding fairytale romance Searcy resident Ann Elizabeth Robertson is featured in the new Chicken Soup for the Soul: Tales From The Dating Game. Ann Elizabeth Robertson’s years teaching secondary English and art (M.A. in writing) continue in her writing. She and her husband have four children and five grandchildren. Learn more at Magazine reporter Amy Gray Light did not like the architect she had to interview – he was not nice to her on the phone. But when he called and apologized, things warmed up, and they even flirted! They started speaking every day and made plans to meet. “My heart did an actual flip-flop,” Amy says about the first time she saw her now-husband. As it turned out, her editor-in-chief had given her the assignment as a set-up in the first place! You never know who or what will bring you and your soul mate together. You’ll love reading the 101 stories in Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Dating Game (Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishing, LLC, Dec. 17, 2013, 978-1611599299, $14.95) about looking for love and finding fairytale romance. From bad dates to great dates, blind dates to old friends turning into more, online dating to chance meetings, and everything in between, this collection will make you laugh, give you hope, and remind you why you love the one you’re with. Sometimes cupid surprises you. Like when Carlton Hughes, a young college professor, went grocery shopping and bumped into his shyest student, who turned out to be a matchmaker. At his urging, Carlton called his sister, and the rest, as they say, is history. “For me,” Carlton writes, “Cupid appeared in the form of a quiet young man in the frozen foods section of a grocery store, with a photo of a lovely lady.”

Other times, couples are brought together by chance. On the flight home from a Club Med vacation, Liane Kupferberg Carter sat next to a man she had met briefly while at the resort and dubbed “Cute Guy.” The attraction seemed one-sided until they started talking about books and it sparked a deeper conversation and interest. About two weeks later, he asked her to marry him. Another fairy tale ending! Everyone loves a good romance or a love story with a happy ending. This collection of modern-day fairy tales makes a great gift for someone who is looking for love or for someone who has already found it. What a wonderful way to satisfy the romantic in all of us. About Chicken Soup For The Soul Chicken Soup for the Soul publishes the famous Chicken Soup for the Soul book series. In 2007, USA Today named Chicken Soup for the Soul one of the five most memorable books in the last quarter-century. With over 100 million books sold to date in the U.S. and Canada alone, more than 250 titles, and translations into more than 40 languages, “chicken soup for the soul” is one of the world’s best-known phrases. Today, 20 years after it first began sharing happiness, inspiration and wellness through its books, Chicken Soup for the Soul continues to delight its readers with new titles, but has also evolved beyond the bookstore. Its high quality products include wholesome and balanced pet food that recognizes the unique relationship between pets and people and a new line of delicious, nutritious comfort food inspired by the connection between food and feelings. Chicken Soup for the Soul is “always there for you™.” For more information visit

Ann Elizabeth Robertson

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Herbal Products and Dietary Supplements By Kimberly Heard, PharmD/MBA Candidate and Rodney G. Richmond, RPh, MS, CGP, FASCP

Over The Counter Harding University Center for Drug and Health Information

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The use of herbal products and dietary supplements has grown in popularity to the point that most people can say they have used them at some point. However, the use of these products is not new as they have been used for thousands of years dating back to antiquity for medicinal purposes. Unfortunately, since they are not scrutinized by the rigorous FDA approval process before reaching the marketplace, most of the commercially available products have not undergone scientific testing like regulated drug products. Often these products are viewed as harmless because they are labeled as being “natural,” but it must be kept in mind that they do contain active ingredients. So what does that mean? Let the buyer beware—do your research before deciding whether a product is right for you, because there are some individuals who should not use an herbal product or dietary supplement. These products do produce drug-like effects and can potentially interact with prescription or over-the-counter medications or other supplements which can lead to serious adverse effects. For example, drugs like aspirin, blood thinners, or blood pressure medications are known to have interactions when mixed with certain herbal products. In short, people with certain health conditions, who take certain medications, or women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should speak to their pharmacist or healthcare provider before taking any of these products. Finally and equally important, when your pharmacist or healthcare provider inquires about medications that you take, always remember to tell them about herbal products and dietary supplements. 71

By Casey McLeod, Medical Center Pharmacy When someone comes to the pharmacy with a prescription to be filled, I believe he or she has the expectation of taking the medication and, in turn, feeling better. Most people have a medicine cabinet full of drugs that they purchased with just that hope in mind. We trust what our doctors and pharmacists tell us and the treatments they offer, and rightly so. However, why is it that with a laundry list of medications that so many of us just don’t feel well? We lack energy and stamina, or even have constant nagging symptoms that seem to have no end. In some cases, there is a simple answer… Many medications we take rob us of vital nutrients needed for our bodies to function properly. There are several ways drugs can “steal” these nutrients. For example, changing the acidity in your stomach can affect how your body absorbs nutrients, as well as other medicine, from the gut. Some drugs actually bind to vital nutrients and carry them throughout the body without allowing them to be absorbed and used. Other drugs stimulate or inhibit enzymes that are needed to move nutrients to the proper places in our bodies. In simple terms, medications are intended to do good, heal, and protect us, but we need to know how to correct the bad they can do along the way. So, how do you know if you are taking a medication that is robbing you of the “good stuff” your body needs to work? This chart is a good place to start. Here is a list of the most common drugs that deplete vital nutrients and vitamins that are easily replaced. Type of Medication

Common Example

What to Replace

Acid reducers or blockers

Prilosec, Omeprazole, or Nexium


Prozac (fluoxetine), Zoloft (sertraline), Celexa Iodine, which is much needed to produce (citalopram ), Lexapro (escitalopram) thyroid hormones


Anxiety medications Blood pressure medications

Multivitamin/Multimineral complex

Amoxicillin, Cephalexin, Zithromax, and many Probiotic, calcium, magnesium and B more vitamins

Xanax (alprazolam), Ativan Klonopin (clonazepam)

(lorazepam), Melatonin, which keeps the sleep cycle in order

ACE inhibitors: Lisinopril, enalapril, fosinopril Beta-blockers: atenolol, metoprolol Calcium Channel blockers: verapamil, nifedipine Clonidine

Magnesium, calcium CoQ-10, melatonin Potassium, calcium CoQ-10

Diabetes medications

Glyburide, glipizide, metformin

CoQ-10, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, folic acid


Hydrochlorothiazide, furosemide, many others

Calcium, magnesium, B vitamin C, potassium, zinc

Cholesterol medications

NSAIDs drugs)

Statins: atorvastatin, pravastatin, simvastatin Fibrates: gemfibrozil, fenofibrate

(anti-inflammatory Ibuprofen, naproxen, Mobic (meloxicam)

CoQ-10 Multimineral complex and B vitamins


Vitamin C, folic acid, Iron

Hormone replacement & birth Any estrogen containing medication control

Probiotics, multimineral complex, magnesium, zinc, B vitamins, vitamin C

Thyroid medications

Iron, Calcium

Levothyroxine, Armour thyroid

Some people experience depletion of these nutrients without taking any medication. There are some lifestyle choices that can deplete vital nutrients and vitamins, too. Coffee and tea deplete calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron and other minerals. Cokes create a problem due to the high levels of phosphoric acid, which pulls calcium from our bones, thereby decreasing bone density. Laxatives cause our bodies to lose vitamins D and A. Stress can be damaging to our health for a number of reasons. Some of that damage can be averted by adding in B-Complex vitamins. Proper nutrition and a well-balanced diet is the best answer to the negative effects of these lifestyle thieves of nutrients. 72 Your Hometown Magazine

Choosing the right supplement to correct these nutrient losses can be somewhat overwhelming. It’s always important to ask your doctor or pharmacist before adding any over the counter product to your prescriptions. Try taking these steps before adding a new supplement: • Ask your pharmacist if there are any interactions with your other medications. • Make sure there is a purpose for supplementing. Don’t follow fad diets or programs. • If there is a good reason to add a vitamin or supplement, make sure you find how and when to take it. We don’t want the supplement to affect other medications. • BUY A GOOD, TRUSTWORTHY PRODUCT! Many over the counter supplements and vitamins are not made in a way that your body can absorb and use them. Ask your pharmacist about which product will really do the job it claims to do. With all of this information, keep in mind that there is no “cure-all” health product. There is, however, a well-rounded way to approach your health that involves modern medicine, supplements, and proper nutrition. Step back and take a look at your overall health and meet your body’s needs in these areas, and you will be on your way to a much healthier and happier you! For more detailed information, read Drug Muggers by Suzy Cohen, RPh. 73

74 Your Hometown Magazine

M edication A ssistance P rogram By Jennifer Skinner


ife is full of choices. We make them every varies depending on the individual programs. Generally, clients minute of the day. Many of the choices we make are are eligible if they meet federal poverty level or don’t have very simple. In fact, we don’t even give them a second thought. prescription coverage, and are US citizens. Participants will need But what if you had to choose between paying for insulin or to provide the necessary documentation at their appointment. cancer treatment medications and purchasing groceries? We’ve The staff will help you determine the information you need to all gone to the pharmacy to get a prescription filled only to be provide which may include proof of income, Medicaid denial surprised by the high cost of the medication. But if you have to letters, unemployment statements, driver’s license, insurance pay for expensive medicines every month, then you know there card, or social security card and a list of prescriptions. are sacrifices you have to make to continue taking these life The Medication Assistance Program is funded by UAMS sustaining prescriptions. and started in Batesville, but is now a statewide program. The If you are struggling to pay for high priced medications, White County office in Searcy has been generously donated by there is a good chance that the Medication Assistance Program White County Medical Center as a service to the community. (MAP) can help. You probably There are a numerous ways in didn’t know that pharmaceutical which the program can assist companies offer free or reduced with lowering the cost of “This free program obtains $1.7 costs for prescription medicines to prescription medications, and million annually in medications for many applicants. And you may not they also provide information their clients.” realize that sometimes you can get for people with other medical free medication from your doctor’s needs. The friendly and office or deeply discounted prices at helpful staff at MAP eagerly your pharmacy. Additionally, there encourages you to call so they are often generic prescriptions and mailing programs that can can assist you today! It’s as practical as using a coupon at the drastically reduce the costs of regularly required medications. grocery store or buying something on sale. Who wouldn’t take This information is often difficult to find and complicated to advantage of saving money? If you are struggling to pay for understand and apply for. prescription medications, find out if you qualify by contacting However, Teresa and Shelly with the Medication Assistance Teresa Henry or Shelly Rutledge at (501)268-5000. The office Program (MAP) are eager to help find ways to lower the costs is located on the South Campus of WCMC. Their office hours of your prescription medications. This free program obtains are Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. $1.7 million annually in medications for their clients. There are many different options including savings cards, discounts, generic prescriptions, copay assistance, and free pharmacy plans. The large majority of people who apply are able to get assistance. Teresa and Shelly have a passion for serving. They have helped many people in White County, but they also explained that there is room for growth of the program in this region. They want more people to take advantage of the program and find relief from the high costs of prescription medications. Teresa gets excited about helping people. For her it’s “instant gratification” when she is informed that clients have been approved for a program. When people are able to lower the costs of their medications they are able to obtain overall health benefits by eating better. Shaun Robinson, the Business Manager for the region explains that it provides a better “long term outlook.” He says, “You can’t put a price on someone’s health.” There are no requirements for consultation for the free program. Anyone who is struggling to pay for their prescription medications should call or visit the MAP office. Eligibility 75

SEARCY Parks & Recreation calendar of events

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Macaroni and Cheese Soup In No Time

I found this recipe a few years back in a magazine and did some minor adjustments to it; it is so very yummy! I’m including it in this issue because I think it might be the just the ticket for some quick, healthy lunches this summer for parents of busy kids. Here’s maybe the best part: it uses only ONE saucepan! You can swap out the veggies for any three others you prefer; the original called for broccoli, cauliflower, carrot blend. I just use whatever vegetables I have that are colorful; I’m guessing English peas would be delightful in this, but then I do have a great relationship with those little green jewels. Give yourself about 20 minutes and maybe some bread and salad, and you’ll have one great lunch that most kids will love. Adults will, too!

INGREDIENTS 32 ounces chicken broth or stock (with NO MSG), organic if possible 2 to 3 c. mixture of diced carrots, broccoli, and zucchini (or your favorites) 3/4 c. small pasta shells (like sea shells, but tiny, use rice pasta to make it GF) 2 Tbsp unbleached all purpose flour (use rice flour to make it GF) 1 1/2 c. milk 2 c. (8 ounces) shredded medium cheddar cheese 1/4 tsp salt 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper

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In a large saucepan, heat broth to a boil and add vegetables and pasta; cook until pasta is done and veggies are tender. Reduce heat.


In a medium bowl, add milk TO THE FLOUR (Don’t ask me why, but if you add the flour to the milk you’ll have lumps and blobs that will not go away!) and whisk until smooth.


Add milk mixture to the broth and stir until thick. Remove from heat and add cheese, salt and pepper, stirring until it’s all melted.


Serve hot. Makes about 4 portions. Tanya Turner Leckie’s cookbook Cartwheels In The Kitchen, is available at Tonya’s Consignment, Midnight Oil Coffee House, as well as through Tanya by e-mailing her at lazydaygourmet@ Partial proceeds through sales benefit the Makonde Team mission work in Tanzania, Africa.

“I’m going to make the rest of my life the best of my life.” ~Unknown 79

Across 3. You are becoming who you hang around with is a ______. 7. Myths of television ______ are more complicated for children to understand. 8. Fishers of Men takes place here.


1. Tanya Webb wants a place single parents can go without feeling ______. 2. Lara will conduct what kind of pediatric classes? 4. Never shall I fail my ______. 5. Together, we can help children beat ______. 6. Casey McLeod reminds us that there is no ____-____ health product.

Find The Answers On What travels around the world but stays in one place? How do you make the number one disappear?

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Keep your head up. God gives His hardest battles to His strongest soldiers. Show your support for life and help raise money at the same time! Purchase an Official Choose Life Arkansas License Plate for the rear of your car. You can obtain one through direct purchase from the Department of Finance and Administration. Let’s make the readership of Searcy Living the BIGGEST supporters for life in the state! 81

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84 Your Hometown Magazine

Searcy Living Issue 3 2014  

Featuring Survivors In A Different Spectrum, Fisher's Retreat, and Ways For Success