Page 1

North Entrance

White County Medical Center is

partnering with local healthcare providers: CARTI, Radiology Associates PA and White County Oncology to bring a Cancer Center of Excellence to our community. This new center will provide radiation therapy and chemotherapy, and will be

home to an Imaging Center, Breast Center and Appearance Center among other services. We invite you to join us as we partner with our community to raise funds together for advancing healthcare for our region.

My/Our tax-deductable contribution to the White County Medical Foundation, in the amount of $ is enclosed. Please PRINT name(s) as you would like for it to appear for recognition purposes: Name:

Please Make Check Payable to: White County Medical Foundation Attention: Cassandra Feltrop 3214 E. Race Ave. Searcy, AR 72143

(in memory/honor of) Address: City:


E-mail: Credit Card Payment: Account Number:

Amount to Charge: Signature:

[ ] Visa


[ ] Mastercard

[ ] Discover

Exp. Date:


/ 3

4 Your Hometown Magazine 5

6 Your Hometown Magazine 7

Issue № 3 j 2011


Features Living Forward A Yellow Tear A Survivor Seen & Heard Moving Mountains Rotary Golf Challenge Miracle Eyes Seen & Heard Full Circle Summer Fun Photos Seen & Heard

12 32 34 36 38 42 44 50 54 58 69

Departments Publisher’s Note 11 Hope Cottage 14 Fashion Fun 16 Living In Searcy 20 We The People 26 Financial Focus 30 Health 52 Hope...Believe 56 Seeds Of Hope 57 Dinner And A Magazine 66 Out & About 70 Games & Puzzles 72

On the Cover kelsy ODom and jack Photo by George Dillin (501) 268-9304

58 “Good old days start with good new days like today.” — Denise Settle


“This is what it’s all about: If you can’t have fun at it, there’s no sense hanging around.” — Joe Montana 9

Publisher Christine Walker Art Director & Webmaster Garrett Johnson Graphic Assistant Ikey Ray Customer Service Stephanie McInturff Editorial Assistant Cherie Sewell Makeover Coordinator Christine Locke Contributing Independent Photographers Cassie Jones (501) 230-0539 Roxy Creative (501) 593-6866 Maggie Hendrix (501) 388-3256 Homan Photography (501) 268-2844 Kimberly Brackins (501) 279-1515 George Dillin (501) 268-9304 Feature Writers Cecelia Wilson Cassie Jones Erica Brooks

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

Copyright 2011 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 2011 Shark Promotions LLC

Searcy Living Magazine is a subsidiary of Shark Promotions LLC.

10 Your Hometown Magazine

Publisher’s Note

More Life Lessons

I remember hearing once that a shy person has impact (either positive or negative) on over 10,000 people during their lifetime. And that is a person considered shy! So how many people do the rest of us [average to outgoing] impact during our lifetime? I do not know the answer to that. But I do know that we produce 16,000 copies of each issue of Searcy Living Magazine, which gives us the privilege to be what we hope is a positive influence in your life. On that note, I would like to take the time to thank the members of this community who have shared their most personal thoughts, feelings, and stories with you. Some of those stories are deeply ingrained in my memory and have greatly encouraged and impacted my life, as I hope they have yours. I would also like to thank the people in my life who have been an encouragement and inspiration to me throughout good times and bad. And last, but certainly not least, I would even like to thank the people in my life who have hurt me the most - for the life lessons they have taught me. Life lessons that I will never forget and will always draw knowledge from. As always, thank you for reading Searcy Living:)

“Nothing is terminal, just transitional.”

~ Robert Schuller

There’s a Hole in My Sidewalk

by Portia Nelson






I walk down the street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I fall in. I am lost... I am helpless. It isn’t my fault. It takes me forever to find a way out.

I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I pretend I don’t see it. I fall in again. I can’t believe I am in the same place. But, it isn’t my fault. It still takes a long time to get out.

I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I see it is there. I still fall in... it’s a habit. My eyes are open. I know where I am. It is my fault. I get out immediately.

I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I walk around it.

I walk down another street. 11

by Tate Pettyjohn n a Sunday morning in 2000, a new couple was introduced to the congregation at the Downtown Church of Christ in Searcy, Arkansas. David Mathews and his wife Debbie were not only placing membership with the church, but also beginning a new chapter in their lives, as David had been hired to fill the pulpit minister position. Now, finding themselves in a small college town in Arkansas, the young couple was unsure of what the future held for them, but trusted that God would continue to lead them as He had always done. Very quickly the Mathews grew to become an integral part of not only the Downtown Church, but also of the Searcy community. David and Debbie continued their work in Searcy as their four children, Chuck, Kelly, Sara, and Adam grew into adulthood. Ministry had always been a big part of the Mathews’ day-today lives regardless of where they were living, and their time in Searcy would be no different. David’s training in substance abuse counseling led him to be an instrumental part of the development of Searcy’s chapter of Celebrate Recovery, a faith-based twelve step program open to all seeking help with any kind of “hurt, habit, or hang-up,” while Debbie worked tirelessly as a stay-at-home mom raising their children. David and Debbie also began working as facilitators for A New Beginning, a weekend marriage workshop sponsored by the Family Dynamics Institute for marriages in crisis. Over time, their passion for working with those hurting grew deeper and deeper. David and Debbie would later understand that their ministry was helping to prepare them for a future tragedy that would affect the whole Mathews family. In early 2007, David and Debbie learned that they were to become grandparents. The couple’s life would soon be forever changed. Adam and his wife Rebekka were expecting a boy, Josiah David Mathews. David and Debbie were thrilled at the thought of their new grandson. This overwhelming joy soon turned to devastation however, when doctors explained to Adam and Rebekka that there was a problem. Due to complications, it was likely that the baby would never be able to make it out of the hospital. For months, the Mathews family and many others prayed fervently for the child. “Although we all prayed for a miracle to spare Josiah’s life,” says Debbie, “we trusted that regardless of what happened, the Lord would work through the situation for the positive.” Josiah David Mathews lived for 7 minutes on this earth before he passed away in his parents’ arms. Though stricken with their own grief, David and Debbie hurt most from watching their son and his wife losing their first child. David and Debbie knew Josiah’s death 12 Your Hometown Magazine

would be one of the most painful things their family would ever have to face. Slowly, for David and Debbie, grief began to fuel determination. At the hospital on the day Josiah was born, they had met a husband and wife team of photographers whose ministry consisted of traveling to hospitals and photographing families with newborns who weren’t expected to live. This couple had lost 5 children of their own and used their talents to serve others who were suffering the loss they knew all too well. The photographers quietly went about their work taking pictures when the babies were born, careful not to intrude or distract from the moment. They would then provide the photos completely free of charge to the entire family. “I had considered several people my heroes growing up,” said David, “but this couple became bigger heroes to me that day than anyone I had ever known. I never got their autographs, at least not in the traditional sense. I got much more than that. In our room, we have beautiful pictures of a little boy. And every day when I look at Josiah David Mathews, I think of a couple with cameras hanging around their necks. Those are the autographs I will always keep.” Spurred by the kindness of such people, David and Debbie searched for their own way to help those struggling with pain and loss. Driving with Debbie one day, but deep in thought, David suddenly asked his wife, “What if we could provide families and individuals who were suffering with a time of relaxation, renewal, and support with others who shared the same hurts that they had?” The Mathews got busy researching, learning, and above all praying. From this conversation was born the Spark of Life Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that provides, free of charge, grief recovery retreats to all who have experienced loss. Today, the Spark of Life Foundation is a thriving national organization committed to serving people from all walks of life, and striving to ease the hopelessness and heartache that comes from suffering loss. Three-day weekend retreats for couples and individuals are held at the beautiful Tanglewood Resort on Lake Texoma. The resort is a place of rest where guests have access to a spa, golf course, swimming pool, and other activities. Even more important than the relaxation element, however, are the daily group workshops in which the guests take part. Attendees are able to hear one another’s stories and understand that they are not alone in their heartache. Couples and facilitators spend time encouraging and teaching coping strategies that help rekindle the joy of life for participants.

“What really makes the Spark of Life weekend different and unique,” explains David, who now serves as Executive Director for the organization, “is the dynamic of the group as they rally around each other and support each other in a way that no one else really can.” Like the photographers that he had met years earlier, the decision was made that the retreats held for Spark of Life would be completely free of charge. Spark of Life covers costs for all food, lodging, and activities for the guests; all a participant has to do is get there. “People who are struggling with grief are battered and bruised,” says David, “and we just want to honor them. We do not want cost to be a deterrent to anyone in need.” Because the retreat costs are paid for by the foundation, supporters are vital to Spark of Life’s existence. Several times a year, fund-raisers are held and support campaigns are launched in hopes that the free retreats can remain available to those who need them most. Spark of Life recognizes that loss occurs in many different ways and is committed to serving all who are affected by it. The foundation has participants lined up for five retreats in 2011, with nearly twice that many scheduled in 2012. “We have been so pleased with the success thus far,” says Debbie. “We are so thankful for what God has accomplished and are very excited about what He has in store for us in the future with this truly unique organization.” Although it was David and Debbie who started The Spark of Life Foundation to help those dealing with grief, they would be the first to tell you that they themselves have benefitted greatly from the time spent at Tanglewood. “The hurt will never fully disappear,” says David, “but instead of allowing it to cripple us, we continually use it as one of the driving forces to minister to all those who come to be a part of The Spark of Life Foundation. We desire to help however we can to assist, encourage, and instill hope to those who are grieving so deeply.” For more information on how you can help or learn more about the retreats at Tanglewood call (501) 207-1368 or visit

David and Debbie with (L to R) Scotland, Madalyn, and Lily.

Contact: Tate Pettyjohn FaithWorks Consulting Group P.O. Box 1911 Searcy, AR 72145 13

Tasha Robinson stops by the Searcy Living business office to collect and deliver the donations (that you gave) to Hope Cottage. Thank you to everyone who donated!

Hope Cottage Donation From the Big Creek 4H Many thanks!

Thank you to the Ladies Auxiliary of Independence Missionary Baptist Church in Pleasant Plains for your donation to Hope Cottage. Thank you to Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church in Clay for your donation of cleaning supplies to Hope Cottage.

Thank you to The Bible House (now located next to Mayflower grocery store) for the donation of Bibles to Hope Cottage. Go to for a list of needs for Hope Cottage!

14 Your Hometown Magazine 15

Our summer makeover, Amy Risk, improved her professional image with a vibrant summer top from Unique Boutique. Hays supplied fresh jewelry and cool sandals for a co-ordinated look on even the warmest July workday. With hairstyling by Kara at Holden & Co. and updated cosmetics from The Cosmetic Studio, Amy knows she looks her best. Many thanks to our new makeover sponsor, Roxy Creative, for providing photography.

16 Your Hometown Magazine

Christine Locke Makeover Coordinator

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

1211 E. Race St. • Searcy (501) 268-1700

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

Kara Davis

200 E. Park • Searcy (501) 279-9592

Turn the page for more fashion retailers >>>

(501) 593-6866 17

18 Your Hometown Magazine 19

in Searcy

Story and After Photos by Cassie Jones Before Photos by Brooke Pryor

20 Your Hometown Magazine

as she cut a glance towards her husband on the other side of the room. hen Brooke was seven months pregnant with their now 14 month old daughter, Stella, they had plans drawn up and a dream to build. However, when Grant saw the house on Allison Court—he saw what could be a home. “I wasn’t really sure I could ever picture this house as my home,” Brooke said with a laugh. “But after repainting and new flooring and appliances were brought in, I could finally start to see home. Walking in the front door of this four bedroom, three bathroom home, warm neutral colors make guests feel comfortable and right at home. The foyer opens up into a large living room. Brooke has incorporated her love for antiques and vintage finds throughout the home, adding historic touches amid modern, cozy furniture. The thick, off-white shag carpet makes this space the perfect place to spend time as a family and play area for Stella. The thick, off-white shag carpet makes this space the perfect place to spend time as a family and play area for Stella.

In Stella’s room, Brooke enjoyed finding vintage finds and repainting the furniture to make what was new feel vintage.

Down the hallway off to the right, pictures line the walls, opening up into three bedrooms and two baths. The first bedroom is a guest bedroom, and is followed by Stella’s room, where Brooke enjoyed finding vintage finds and repainting the furniture to make what was new feel vintage. A large guest bath boasts a large vanity and sink area to accommodate guests. The master bedroom is light and roomy with large windows pouring light into the room. This room also has a pair of night stands that Brooke painted turquoise bringing a colorful pop to the room. Off the living room is a dining room with a large table 21

with plenty of room for entertaining a lot of family and friends. The dark furniture contrasts with the neutral tan of the walls, giving this room a beautiful rich color. Off the dining room is the kitchen and breakfast nook. The cabinetry is painted off white, again playing off a beautiful contrast with the darker walls in this room. The counter space is plentiful and the floor plan is conducive to family cooking and making lots of memories in the kitchen.

Off the dining room is the kitchen and breakfast nook. The dark furniture in the dining room contrasts the neutral tan of the walls giving this room a beautiful rich color.

22 Your Hometown Magazine

The master bedroom is light and roomy with large windows pouring light into the room.

The Pryors enjoy spending time together as a family and spending time at the lake, where her parents have a place for them to stay. Grant is an avid duck hunter and they love the water. Grant and Brooke met as students at ASU Jonesboro, marrying two years after graduation. Brooke is the Director of Marketing at White County Medical Center and Grant is Regional Business Director at ARcare. “Our home is a work in progress,” Brooke said. “There are many things we’d still like to do…but I can truly say that this is home now. This is the place where we brought our daughter home from the hospital, the place where we celebrated her first birthday—we hope to make a million more memories here.”

where we brought our daughter home from the hospital, the place where we celebrated her first birthday—we hope to make a million more memories here.

The counter space is plentiful and the floor plan is conducive to family cooking and making lots of memories in the kitchen. 23

Online Extra Go to to see more home galleries!

24 Your Hometown Magazine 25

We the People Student Artist >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Sidney Deener Elementary congratulates Emely Truong for being our May “Student Artist.” Emely is in 3rd grade and is in Mrs. Glenda Kelley’s classroom.

Undefeated Champs

2010-2011 Undefeated U8 coed Champs “The Black Attack”

Send us your event and photo! E-mail to:

26 Your Hometown Magazine

Letters About Literature

Tasha Fisher (5th grade), Erika Hopkins (6th grade), and Morgan Salter (6th grade), students from White County Central Middle School, were chosen as Level 1 Finalists in the 2010 - 2011 Arkansas Letters about Literature competition. Out of 1,450 letters, only 136 were chosen as finalists. These three students were honored at a reception at the Old State House Museum in Little Rock on Saturday, April 2. They are pictured here with their language arts teacher, Leslie M. Williams.

 Ryan Weeks took this beautiful picture of the sunset while driving through Harding University.

 Carrie Wells submitted this beautiful picture.

McKenzy, 7 months old, is always this happy and grins this big all the time. She enjoyed being outside! 27

We the People

Happy Birthday!

Charlene Prock recently celebrated her 80th birthday with a wonderful party. It was a unique event with approximately 200 guests!

28 Your Hometown Magazine 29

Financial Focus

with Jeff Kernodle

Taking Care of Yourself While Caring for Another

Caregiving is seldom easy – it involves providing financial, physical, emotional and spiritual support to someone who is unable to live independently. According to the Family Caregiver Alliance, approximately 44 million unpaid individuals (mostly family members) provide care each year to ill or disabled loved ones who are age 18 or older. If you’re a caregiver, no one has to tell you about competing demands for your time. You may feel the emotional drain of caring for a loved one whose condition may not improve. Or, if you also happen to work outside the home, you may be dealing with the strains of building a career and raising a family simultaneously. Multi-tasking is your middle name – and that’s why it is important that you hone your stress-management skills. An ongoing, landmark study of caregivers conducted at the University of Arkansas revealed that those who provide help managing money and medications reported greater stress than those who provided primarily physical care. Dealing with a person’s cognitive and emotional difficulties is harder than dealing with physical challenges. But there are ways to manage the physical, emotional and financial stress that comes with being a caregiver and keep it from overwhelming you. The Journal of the American Medical Association offers these 10 stress reduction suggestions: 1. Don’t take on more responsibility than you can handle. 2. Use relaxation techniques like meditating, visualizing comforting scenes or listening to music. 3. Tackle one thing at a time – once you complete that task, move on to the next. 4. Make your lifestyle as healthy as possible – eat nutritious meals; limit caffeine and alcohol; get enough rest and exercise regularly; and balance work, recreation and your caregiving. 5. Schedule time to take a break and do things you enjoy. 6. Have family and friends you can turn to for love, support and guidance.

7. Educate yourself about your loved one’s condition -information is empowering. 8. Consider joining a support group. 9. See your doctor if the stress begins to feel unmanageable. 10. Consult your doctor or local social worker about resources in the community that can give you the support you need. Most important, ask for help. Whether it’s friends, associates, church members or others, teamwork will reduce the likelihood of burnout and enhance the care you provide. Working as a team can result in a well deserved break so you can watch a movie, read a book or enjoy a nap. Keep family members, even relatives who express little interest, informed on a regular basis about the care being provided. These meetings can take place in person, on the phone or by e-mail. List things that need to be done and ask family members to take responsibility — at least on an occasional basis — for certain tasks, such as picking up a prescription or doing laundry. Take advantage of the resources available nationwide for caregivers, such as your local Area Agency on Aging. This organization can provide valuable information on case management, in-home care, home-delivered meals and assistance devices, senior activity centers and caregiver training programs, and more. To find your local organization, along with other valuable resources, use the Eldercare Locator at, a public service of the U.S. Administration on Aging. ********** This article was written by Wells Fargo Advisors and provided courtesy of Jeff Kernodle and Ben Katon, Senior Financial Advisors in Searcy at (501) 279-0101. Located at: 515 S. Main • Searcy

Investments in securities and insurance products are: NOT FDIC-INSURED/NOT BANK-GUARANTEED/MAY LOSE VALUE Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network, LLC, Member SIPC, is a registered broker-dealer and a separate non-bank affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company. Investment products and services are offered through Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network, LLC (WFAFN), Member SIPC. Kernodle & Katon Asset Management Group is a separate entity from WFAFN. ©2010 Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC. All rights reserved. 0910-2047 [83806-v1] 09/10 e6774

About the Writer Jeff Kernodle is a Senior Financial Advisor with Kernodle & Katon Asset Management Group, a member of the Wells Fargo Financial Network, LLC in Searcy. For more information on this and other articles, please call Jeff at 501-279-0101.

30 Your Hometown Magazine 31

, who had survived the Korean Conflict, heart bypass surgery, and near drowning in his lifetime, was taken away from me by something so small that it makes my heart ache every time I think about it. He was bitten by a tick carrying the bacteria francisella tularensis and was consequently diagnosed with tularemia. I saw him at lunch on Friday and told him I thought he was looking like he felt better. He said he was feeling pretty good and he was about to take my mother to her beauty shop appointment and to get groceries, something they did every Friday. By Friday afternoon he was not feeling well, and on Sunday I tried to get him to go to the emergency room because he had a temperature of 102 degrees. He would not go. He said he just had a virus or something and would feel better later. On Monday, he was delirious and I took him to the VA in Little Rock where he was always treated. They admitted him. The doctor he saw was from Russia and had seen tularemia cases before. Mom had mentioned to the doctor that dad had a tick bite. The doctor then told us he thought he might know what was wrong with him, but it would take a week to get results back from the test for tularemia. He wanted to go ahead and start him on the strong antibiotics used to treat this. We agreed to start them and the blood was sent to Utah for the test, which came back positive for tularemia. At this point, the disease had progressed and he had to be placed on a ventilator. The doctor told us that it was not good and he probably would not come off the vent. This disease, according to the doctor, affected all his major organs. His kidneys shut down and he had to have dialysis. It affected his liver, and his skin color was yellow. It also affected his brain, and he was not recognizing any of us. This was a very hard time for all of us. They actually wanted me to let them turn the vent off and let him go. I just could not do this and I prayed so hard for him to recover. Churches everywhere from all denominations were praying. All the nurses and doctors were praying. I cannot say enough good things about the staff there. I stayed at the VA hospital waiting room, sleeping on the couch, chair or whatever I had to do. I was not leaving and I just knew he would be okay. Every time I went to see him, I talked to him about what had happened to him and I never missed an opportunity to tell him how much I loved him. One night the nurse came out to get me because he was trying to wake up. After this, they were able to take him off the vent and he was able to talk to me. He asked me what had happened to him. For several days he was doing better and was able to talk to everyone that came to see him. I am so glad that most of his family did get to see him and talk to him before 32 Your Hometown Magazine

he regressed. He again started to have a high body temperature and had to be placed back on the ventilator. At this time, his skin color was almost orange from the toll the disease was taking on his liver. He would get better; they would take him off the vent, then he would regress again. He was taken off and put back on the vent a total of four times during his month-long ordeal. One night I went home to get some rest and got a call from his nurse early the next morning. She said I needed to come down because they could not keep his blood pressure up. He was semiconscious when I got there and could not talk because he was on the ventilator, but he would look at me with very tired and sad eyes. I knew at this point he was not going home with me. So, I hugged him and told him how much I loved him and that if he could not go home with me, then it was okay for him to go with God. I wiped a yellow tear from his eye and he looked toward the window as if someone called his name, and he was gone. I am writing this in hopes that it will make us more aware of the consequences of tick bites. Tularemia is also contracted in ways other than tick bites. Hunters need to be aware that they can get it from cleaning game that is infected with the bacteria francisella tularensis. A deer fly can carry this bacteria and, according to the CDC (Center of Disease Control), one can acquire it from inhaling the bacteria from mowing over decaying animals that are infected with it. My father’s doctor told me to go to the CDC website and look at the map that shows where the most cases have been reported. I was very disturbed that Arkansas was one of the states that had the most cases reported from 2000-2008. Symptoms of tularemia according to the CDC are sudden fever, chills, headache, diarrhea, muscle aches, joint pain, dry cough, and progressive weakness. A person is usually affected 3 to 5 days after exposure, but can take up to 14 days. Preventions include using insect repellent that contains DEET, wearing gloves when cleaning game, washing hands often with warm soapy water and not mowing over dead animals. Also, according to the CDC, make sure your water supply is from a safe source, since this is another possible contact with the bacteria. If you have access to a computer, please go to the CDC website and type in tularemia to read more about it, since I have just condensed the information for this article in order make people more aware of the disease. So how do you say good-bye to someone you have loved your entire life? That is something I am still trying to find out almost two years later. 33

by Fonda McCarty

“In my fourteen years, I was long accustomed to the sick feeling which accompanied each nine weeks’ and semester tests results. The after school track meet which had delayed the unavoidable was over. The only thing that stood between Judgment and me, was the closed curtain to the open screened patio door. The tone of my parents’ voices behind the curtain foretold my fate: It was much worse than I had thought! “Bonnie, what in Heaven’s name will she do with her life?” My father’s voice stopped me cold! Was I really beyond all hope? As I hid behind the outside fireplace wall, their voices spilled out onto the patio where I fought back tears. However, before I could even begin the pity party already mounting inside me, my mother’s voice of stern confidence rang out, “Oh, forever more!” (her signature phrase) “I worry more

about Sandra (my sister, the future co-Valedictorian of her class), than I do her. Fonda is a SURVIVOR! She may take it on the chin, but she gets back up! She will find what God put here on earth to do, STOP worrying!” With that it was over. I walked in to face what wasn’t the first, nor the last, of many Report Card Nights of Judgement. Nor would it be the last time my parents’ encouragement would remind me of who I was and that I had purpose. Things didn’t come as easily for me as they did for some, but I had something better. I had heard “HER” when she didn’t even know I was listening, say that I was a survivor! Nothing would destroy me and no one would rob me of my joy, because “My Mama said so!”

Recently, Byron’s Jewelry had a contest to honor mothers. My mother was a winner (above story was the entry story). Many thanks to Byron’s for being so generous and providing each one of us a way to honor our Moms. Every one of us are “winners” and very Blessed to have them! Special thanks to my friends & family who showed my Mom such love & support by your comments and voting. It was a gift to her from ALL of us! Again, from the bottom of my heart I am very greatful. I could never have hand picked a better Mother, family or friends! ~Fonda

34 Your Hometown Magazine 35

Seen & Heard “I love all of the heartfelt stories you tell and also the beautiful pictures. You always have lots of information about what’s going on in the community and pictures of past events. Keep doing a great job! And the best part is it’s free!”

Have something to share? We’d love to hear from you on Facebook!

“I like all the articles! Tastefully written, they come to life and let us see thing as the author does!” – Ronda Louks Martin

– Cherie Skabronski West

“I like the heartfelt stories and experiences from the people of Searcy. I also love the makeover in each issue. Such a fun way to brighten someones day!” – Da’Lynn Mix

I love the inspirational stories as well. Sometimes we forget that we aren’t the only ones in the world with a struggle but with Christ and our Faith we can conquer anything! – April Copeland McClure

“I love how the magazine does so much to support the foster children, foster families other special people in the community!” – Kim Johnston Smith

“I have so much respect for the staff! You all have worked extremely hard to look for the diamonds in the rough stories that make us rethink about our own outlooks on life. I always look forward to the new issue :) Great work Christine & everyone at Searcy Living!” – Fonda McCarty

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ll ponies deserve at least once in their life to be loved by a little girl. Meet Kelsy Odom and her sidekick, Jack. They are the best of friends and have been inseparable since the first time Kelsy sat on his back while trying him out three years ago. Jack not only stole Kelsy’s heart, but the entire family’s. He is definitely a favorite among our nine other horses. We all feel Jack didn’t come to us just by chance. God created him just for Kelsy and placed him right into our reach. When we purchased Jack, we had no idea the bond that would develop between the two. My husband Eric, being the competitive man that he is, had heard Jack was an awesome competition pony, and was looking solely from that perspective. To our surprise, we got a package deal. Not only is Jack her rodeo pony, he is also Kelsy’s best friend! Jack is loved from head to hoof and tail to mane by all who meet him, but Kelsy and Jack share a special bond that comes from spending countless hours together no matter the weather. Before the day ends, she always makes her way out to the pasture to see her furry friend, even if it’s just to rub his belly and give him a cut up apple or his favorite treat. He is always standing at the gate waiting patiently for her visit. So many times when it gets quiet in the house, I know exactly where to find her. She’s outdoors with her bestie. I’m never certain of what to expect when I approach the two of them though. She’s either got him all decked out in ribbons, bows, and braids, or a vet bag in hand treating pretend hurt hooves, sprained legs, and giving him make believe shots. Jack patiently stands there and lets her do whatever she feels necessary because he loves and trusts her completely. He has taught Kelsy so much responsibility, and given her confidence, self esteem, and most of

all love. Kelsy will tell you, “Jack thinks he’s a big horse, so I don’t call him a pony because I don’t want to hurt his feelings.” A favorite pastime of mine is listening to Kelsy have one sided conversations with Jack as she rides him bareback in the yard, telling him all kinds of things. Jack may not be learning much, but I’ve learned all sorts of things from their little chats. Another favorite pastime is watching Kelsy and Jack riding around the pasture with her big brother Landon and his horse, Lil Girl. I love to watch as they race, giggling the whole time, as if they are in their own corner of the world without a care or concern. Not only do they love horsing round at the house, the two love to compete in rodeos and horse shows. As Jack is being unloaded at the rodeo arena, you can see in his eyes the anticipation of the competition ahead. He’s all business as he enters the alley way. This is a major change from the calm, docile pony taking shots at playtime. He runs as fast as his little legs will go, giving it his all. Eric once made the comment, “Jack is a big horse trapped in a pony’s body.” Kelsy’s wish is that Jack could grow as she does, but we know it won’t happen that way. Even when the day comes and she outgrows him, Jack will continue to stay with us as long as he lives. We feel Jack has paid his dues with Kelsy and can retire in the pasture a very happy pony. Kelsy takes very good care of her furry friend, and in return he does his best to make her happy. Kelsy is a member of Central Arkansas Little Britches Rodeo Association, and Hillbilly Horse Show Association. During the 2010 season, they competed in barrels, poles, pony under saddle, speed, key hole, barrel pick up, and flags. They were blessed to win the pony class high point saddle and trophy stirrups. In Little Photo by George Dillin

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Story by April Odom

Britches, they ran barrels, poles, and goat tail undecorating and received Reserved Champion and a beautiful trophy buckle, head stall, and tie down. At the White County Fair, Kelsy and Jack won a beautiful buckle for winning Showmanship in the halter class. We are all so proud of them and we know that every good and perfect gift is from above. They are definitely a team, no matter where they are. In Kelsy’s eyes, no hour of her life is wasted spent with Jack.

SEVERAL months ago, Jack became very ill right after an out of town rodeo. He wouldn’t eat, drink, or stand on his own. We immediately isolated him in the barn and called on Dr. Angel Jordan with Arkansas Equine Services. She spent many hours with him, keeping him hydrated with IV’s, tubing him, and giving him medicine. After seven long days and nights of treatment, he still wasn’t out of the woods. We knew we could lose him at any time unless God intervened. We had so many family, friends, and even our church interceding for Jack. Doc Angel and her mom had him on their prayer chain as well. It was a very scary situation. Eric, myself, and Landon were so worried to the point that there was silence at all times in the Odom home. Kelsy, on the other hand, seemed all hunky dory, as if Jack wasn’t in the barn struggling to stay alive. It was hard seeing Jack go from living the good life one day, to fighting for his every breath the next; and it was mind boggling to see Kelsy’s lack of concern for Jack. One morning while taking the kids to school, after our prayer time, I decided to ask Kelsy why she was so apathetic. I asked, “Kelsy, why aren’t you the least bit worried about Jack? He could die at any time and you act as if there’s nothing wrong. He could even be dead when you get home from school today!” By this time,

Photo by George Dillin 39

I was crying! She glared at me with outrage in her big blue eyes as if to say, “HOW DARE YOU THINK THAT?!” She kept staring at me for what seemed like an eternity, and finally spoke with such wise words for an 8 year old. In a voice that quivered, this was her reply: “Just because I’m not sad like ya’ll, don’t mean I don’t care. I know God is going to heal my pony and ya’ll are acting like He can’t. Why don’t ya’ll believe like I do?!” Then she told me, “Mom, I’ve done talked to God about it, and He is gonna heal Jack because I have faith.” OUCH!!!! That was one way to tell her 37 year old mom a thing or two, especially since we’ve taught our children from birth that with faith all things are possible. “Oh, the faith of a little child.” Psalms 116:6 (NLT) That morning, my daughter was an inspiration to me. I realized through Jack’s illness how weak my faith had been. Needless to say, I immediately repented to God and to Kelsy. I started exercising my faith not only in Jack’s illness, but in all situations. With each new day we started seeing improvement in Jack. I will never forget the excitement in Eric’s voice when he ran in the house shouting, “Jack ate some grain!” That was my little nudge from God, saying, “See, I gotcha covered.” God is SO good! Jack is back to his keen self, and Kelsy is back in his saddle again. His illness made us all realize how someone or something you love deeply can be taken out of your grasp in an instant. So cherish each moment God gives you with family, friends, and even your pets. Jack has definitely made our family complete. I want to take this opportunity to thank all who called, texted, and, most of all, prayed for Jack. Thank you Doc Angel for being obedient to God. You have a very special gift and we are blessed to have shared this incident with you. A very special thank you goes to my precious daughter for reminding me that faith can move mountains, and Jack’s healing is proof! It is truly a treasure watching them together, more now than ever!

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ow! Who would’ve ever thought ten years ago that the Rotary 2-Person Golf Challenge would not only continue to thrive today, but that 2011 would see one of the most successful years of the tournament’s existence? Originally the brain-child of Charles Green, this golf fund-raiser was designed to provide an alternative to the typical 4-man scramble and test the mettle of two golfers. (Thus the term “Challenge.”) Each year, I tell the players, “If you don’t like the format, it was Charles’ idea; and if you do, then it was mine!” The Rotary tourney also allows those that are not members of Searcy Country Club to enjoy playing on some of the best bentgrass greens in the state. Thanks to Tarkington, Crain and Orr Motors, we’ve offered a new automobile for a hole-in-one on hole #7 for each of the ten years. Jack Simon and Herb Bacon have manned the “new car hole” as the official witnesses each and every year and only Dewey Shanks, in 2010, came close enough to get ’em up out of their chairs. The event is broken down into three 6-hole segments. The first six holes are played in the traditional scramble format, with both players hitting from their best team lie. Holes 7 thru 12 can be the most challenging, as both players hit from the tee box, then, after the best drive is chosen, the other player must hit the next shot and the players alternate shots until the ball is in the cup. This is where many a scorecard “blows up” and, since there are only two golfers on a team, it is strongly encouraged to pick a playing partner who’s either a good golfer, or a really good friend! The final six holes are played in a “best ball” format, where each player plays their own ball to the cup and records the better score. Don’t throw away that scorecard! Scores that pay will vary between high 60s and low 80s. The Rotary 2-Person Challenge rewards its participants with over $2,300 guaranteed in cash and prizes to the top four pairings in each flight. One year, a player who was too embarrassed to turn in his scorecard threw it in the trash can as he hurried to the parking lot. It was worth $100 each for he and his teammate, as their 6-over par finished second in the last flight! 42 Your Hometown Magazine


tw go


By Blake Hendrix


e rs p o

Rotary would like to thank Jim Pinner for printing our flyers each year, and Bruce, Miguel and all of the folks at Searcy Country Club, who make this a first-class event. Most of all, we’d like to thank all of the businesses who sponsor, especially those who have given to this tournament each of the ten years. We’ve also enjoyed some divine intervention as it NEVER rains out the Searcy Rotary Challenge. ( : Searcy is one of the most benevolent small cities in America. A local banker recently said, “The days of civic clubs are dead.” But I believe that even though we’re busier than ever, and there are many worthwhile groups that contribute, our civic clubs remain a strong asset in addressing our various needs in White County. The commitment of Searcy Rotary to “put Service above Self” remains as strong today as it was when I joined back in 2001. During those years, this golf tournament has allowed Searcy Rotary, with the help of our many gracious sponsors, to raise over $75,000 for such worthwhile causes including: SUNSHINE SCHOOL, WHITE COUNTY SINGLE PARENT SCHOLARSHIP FUND, AMERICAN LEGION BOYS AND GIRLS STATE, CASA, UNITED WAY READING AND LEARNING DIAGNOSTIC CENTER, AHLF JR. HIGH, WHITE COUNTY DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PREVENTION, WHITE COUNTY COMMUNITY FOUNDATION, CITY OF SEARCY, CAMP WYLDEWOOD, CENTER ON THE SQUARE, LITERACY COUNCIL, COATS FOR KIDS, WHITE COUNTY CHILDREN SAFETY CENTER, and the ARKANSAS SHERIFF’S RANCH. Rotary also provides FOUR SCHOLARSHIPS A YEAR to students from Searcy High, White Co. Central, Riverview, and Harding Academy. The members of Searcy Rotary meet at the Searcy Country Club at noon each Tuesday. We’d love for you to come join us and be a part of an exciting opportunity to serve White County.

For more golf tournament pictures go to 43

thought my family was complete. I had a wonderful husband, David, and we had three beautiful daughters. However, much to our surprise, God had other plans for us. As our youngest daughter turned 9 months old, I found out that I was pregnant again. Although unplanned, we had high hopes of having a boy this time around. Like most men, David wanted a son, a little hunting and fishing buddy, to pass down his name to and all that his father had taught him. The pregnancy started off just as my others had. Everything was routine and I felt pretty good other than the normal fatigue and occasional morning sickness. As expected, my first trimester went off without a hitch. Sunday morning, August 27, 2006, as I got ready for church I had a slight cramping feeling in my abdomen. Since my 13 week baby bump was starting to show, I attributed the mild discomfort to stretching ligaments and continued on to church. As I sat during the sermon, the cramping got a little more pronounced. Moments later, to my horror, I felt something warm running down my legs. I made my way to the lady’s room where my worst fears were realized, it was blood. I rushed back to my family for help and 911 was called for an ambulance. The ride to the Emergency room seemed surreal. How could this be happening? What was happening? My head spun in confusion and fear. I could barely get my thoughts together as the EMT asked question after question. All I wanted was to go home. After reaching the ER, everything seemed to be playing out in slow motion. As I lay in the ultrasound room, I remember watching the technician’s face as she performed the ultrasound, wishing to read her thoughts, hoping for answers. After what seemed like ages, I was wheeled to a room. As the nurse helped me into my bed, I glanced down at the wheelchair I had been in and then out the door and down the hallway at the trail of blood I had lost. The room started to spin. I could feel my cheeks turn white and my head pound with every beat of my heart. I lay in my bed waiting for the doctor to come in and give some answers. While waiting, David helped me to the lady’s room. I walked in, closed the door, and just stood there for a minute. I felt so dizzy. As everything got dark, I leaned over and put my head on the wall. When I came to myself and steadied up a bit, I looked down at the restroom floor. It was covered in blood. In my panic, I started yelling for help. David and the nurses got me back into bed and cleaned me up. There was now no question in my mind what was happening: I was losing my baby. Moments later I started feeling a dull pain in my back, shortly followed by contractions. I wept uncontrollably. After what seemed like an eternity, the doctor came in with the news. “You’re having a miscarriage. We’ll keep you overnight and perform a D&C tomorrow.” The words rang in my ears. My heart ached with sorrow and loss. 44 Your Hometown Magazine

Neither David nor I slept much that night. We spent the night talking, praying, and comforting each other, preparing ourselves for what the morning was to bring. The fact that we didn’t know whether we were having a boy or girl kept running through my mind. I wanted so badly for our baby to have a name and a true identity. I already loved him or her so much. I laid in bed with these thoughts playing over and over until I finally cried myself to sleep. It was the worst night of my life. When morning finally arrived, the doctor on duty came in to check on me. They wheeled an ultrasound machine into the room. David knelt by me and held my hand as we braced ourselves for what was about to happen. After just a moment, the doctor looked up at us in amazement. “Your baby still has a heartbeat… a very strong heartbeat.” I gasped with joy! But how could this even be possible? I hesitated to get my hopes up. As the doctor examined me he saw that my bleeding had subsided substantially overnight. I could hardly believe what was happening, but I was so grateful. After looking at all of my test results since the bleeding and contractions had subsided, the doctor sent me home on bed rest and scheduled an appointment for me to visit my regular OB/GYN in three days. I was given instructions to come back if the bleeding or contractions worsened, and was released. The three days lying in my bed were long and miserable. Although nothing like it had been, I continued to bleed. All I could do was lie there and wonder if my child inside of me was still alive, and, if so, for how l ong? The waiting and the unknown were almost unbearable. for my doctor’s appointment. I had mixed emotions about the day. Normally, getting to see your baby on the ultrasound is a happy occasion; in this case, it was like a dark cloud hanging over my head. As I waited in the exam room for the nurse to come in, I could hear my heart pounding in my chest. I have never been so anxious. When the nurse came in and put the fetal monitor on my belly, I closed my eyes tightly and held my breath. Within seconds I heard the sound I was longing for, my baby’s heartbeat! The nurse smiled and hugged me and told me it was a very strong heartbeat. I cried tears of joy! However, my joy was short lived. As the nurse left, my OB/GYN came in. One look at her face and I knew bad news was to come. She explained to me that she had gone over all of the tests performed in the hospital and things didn’t look good. I was diagnosed with placental abruption, a complication in pregnancy where the placenta separates from the inner wall of the uterus before delivery and can deprive the baby of oxygen and nutrients. This condition only occurs in 1% of pregnancies world-wide, and in almost every one of those cases it is after 20 weeks gestation, so I was an extremely rare case. She told me that my baby’s placenta

was holding on by a “thread” and could detach completely at any moment. It could either happen by itself or something as simple as a wrong movement or even a sneeze could make it happen. She explained to me that the pregnancy would more than likely end very soon. The news hit me like a ton of bricks. I went from the wonderful high of hearing my baby’s heartbeat to the extreme low of this heartbreaking news. She went on to explain some of the risks involved with my condition. Not only was there no way to know how much oxygen and nutrients the baby had lost or for how long, there were life threatening risks for me as well. She asked me to think about all of the risks and decide whether or not I would like to continue with the pregnancy. For me, there was nothing to think about. There was a tiny human being inside of me that was created by God. He had a plan for this child and I was not about to take matters into my own hands. There was no question, I would continue with the pregnancy for as long as God saw fit. My doctor smiled and let me know that she was completely on my side and would do everything possible to keep my baby alive. She then started on a “game plan” of sorts. I was to be on strict bed rest for the duration of my pregnancy, only getting up to use the bathroom and even then having help in sitting up, so as not to strain any muscles. I could not lift anything heavier than a pencil or strain in any way. I was to come in for an ultrasound and a check up every week. She explained that if the placenta tore the rest of the way, it was imperative to get to the hospital as quickly as possible as my life would be in danger, too. My dad being the same blood type, she asked that he be on standby should there be a need for a transfusion. After she was sure we had covered everything, I made my way back home with a long list of doctor’s orders, and a heavy heart. Being on complete bed rest, I had to have someone with me around the clock. My mom moved in with us from Sunday night

to Friday morning. On Friday morning, my mother-in-law would come in from out of town and stay until Sunday evening. Although they were a God-send and I am forever grateful for their help, it was very hard relying on others to clean your house, cook the family meals, and take care of your children. I longed to hold my girls. Ashlynn was only a year old and couldn’t understand why her mommy couldn’t pick her up, give her baths, or tuck her in at night. It broke my heart. and went and at each weekly appointment my doctor was more and more amazed that I was still carrying my baby. During my ultrasound at 16 weeks, the doctor was able to tell the gender. I would finally have a name and identity for my sweet baby! “It’s a boy.” The news was bitter sweet because during the session she also informed me that I had a massive amount of scar tissue on my uterus due to the tearing and would likely never be able to have any more babies. Knowing that we had a son on the way was wonderful, but we knew that there was a great chance that we would never get to meet him, and no chance for another try. To add to my stress, the doctor continued on by telling me she had consulted with a few other doctors about my case and they all came to the same conclusion: the chances of my carrying the baby to even 24 weeks were slim to none. Although as the placenta grew larger it had more surface area connected to the uterus, the part that detached at 13 weeks would never re-attach, and now had a very large blood clot forming between the placenta and uterus. The doctors were afraid that if the clot continued to grow, the placenta would continue to detach. As I went home that night, I felt on the edge of a nervous breakdown. Everything the doctor told me played over and over in my mind. All of the stress of the last three weeks came flooding over me. I sobbed harder than I ever have in my life. I felt hopeless, scared and all alone. After about 30 minutes of crying, I opened my 45

eyes and the first thing I saw was my Bible sitting on my nightstand. I opened it and turned to Isaiah 41:10. “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” What a wonderful promise from the Lord! I was not alone. The Lord Himself was by my side helping me, holding me with His hand. At that moment a wonderful thing happened. As I sat there in the quiet, I felt a small flutter. I felt my baby kick for the first time! A peace that I could never explain came over me. I knew now beyond the shadow of a doubt that everything was going to be okay. Over the next few days, David and I talked to some of our friends and family and before long we were on multiple church prayer lists in at least three different states. I absolutely believe in the power of prayer and took comfort in knowing loved ones were praying on our behalf. “For where two or three are gathered in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” Matthew 18:20.

, and at my 20 week check up my OB/GYN was astounded at my progress. She just couldn’t believe that I was not only still carrying the baby, but that he seemed so healthy. She told me that at this point during the pregnancy, if the placenta were to start tearing again or if I went into labor, that I would be med-flighted to Children’s Hospital. However, this visit ended in some good news for the first time. After six long weeks, my bleeding had finally stopped. The doctor told me that if I could go four more weeks without any bleeding, I would be able to go from complete to partial bed rest. It was music to my ears! I anxiously awaited to reach week 24. Not only was that the week I could start moving around a little, but, more importantly, it was the week that my baby started to have a chance of survival if born. As the 24 week appointment came, yet again, it was with more mixed news. The good news being that I had not bled in the last four weeks and could now occasionally get out of bed to get my own drinks or move from one room to another. The bad news was being prepared by the doctor for the obstacles I was likely going to be facing with a premature baby. She went over a long list of things, including mental retardation, cerebral palsy, lung problems, blindness, hearing loss, autism, and behavioral problems. As I left the doctor, I felt overwhelmed by the challenges that lay ahead for my family. When I got home I took out my Bible and again read the words so dear to my heart, “Fear not, for I am with you…” God is with me. Not only is He with me, but He’s with my family, and He’s with this child. The very thought gave me the strength I needed to go on. At my 28 week check up it was time for my glucose testing. In consideration of everything that had happened so far in this pregnancy, I was not too surprised when the test came back that I had mild gestational diabetes. Fortunately, all I had to do was slightly alter my meals. Everything else looked good and my doctor moved my visits from every week to every two weeks. When I came in at 32 weeks, my OB/GYN was more than amazed at how far along I was in my pregnancy. “There is no scientific reason you should be pregnant right now,” she shared with me. “It’s nothing short of a miracle.” Unknown to us at the time, God was also in the process of another miracle. My gestational diabetes, while mild enough to not cause any problems, was actually helping the baby by making him grow a little larger than he normally would, in turn giving him more body fat and a better chance of survival if born early. “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God…” Romans 8:28. Before I knew it, I was at 34 weeks. My son had an excellent chance of survival if born now and would be able to be delivered at White County Medical Center. I could breathe a little easier. I was looking forward to my doctor’s appointment, though, because I had been having some fairly intense contractions for almost two weeks and was curious to see if anything was going on. The doctor checked me and I was dilated to four. She put me on a monitor, but my contractions were not regular enough so she sent me home, telling told me to pack my bags and be ready to go at any time. The next two weeks were very trying. My contractions would get down to about 8 minutes apart but would never stay consistent. 46 Your Hometown Magazine

Day and night they would come and go. Finally, the day came for my 36 week check up. She examined me and I was now dilated to six. She sent us straight to the hospital for me to be admitted. This was the moment I had been waiting for, the moment I and my family had worked 23 weeks for. I could not believe that in a few short hours David and I would be meeting our son! My heart was so full of joy it could burst! My labor progressed very nicely. As the moments passed, my family’s escalating excitement could be felt. It was a beautiful time. Before long the doctor said it was time to push. “Are you ready?” she asked. “I’ve never been more ready in my life,” I cried! After three pushes I heard the most glorious sound in the world, my new baby son’s cry. Caleb Wayne Lutrell came into this world February 5, 2007, at 10:08 p.m., weighing 7 pounds. The doctor put him directly into my arms. I lay there holding this precious miracle with grateful tears of joy running down my cheeks. How great is our God! Due to the circumstances of the pregnancy, Caleb had to undergo multiple tests. When the doctors came in to report the next morning, they had the amazing news. Despite his oxygen loss during early pregnancy, he was a perfectly normal and healthy baby boy. It was a miracle! On February 7, baby Caleb and I were released from the hospital. Bringing him home and laying him down in his crib was the proudest moment of my life. Doctors told me that Caleb would never be born alive. I was given the opportunity to end my pregnancy because of the “risks” involved. As I looked down into the face of my precious son, I was so thankful that I had put my faith in God and His power rather than “science.” As the next couple of weeks went by, Caleb grew like a little weed. His sisters adored him and spoiled him rotten! One day while feeding him a bottle, I noticed that his right eye had changed to brown while the left eye remained blue. He had two different colored eyes! Memories flashed back in my mind of the night I felt so lost and afraid, when I opened my Bible to God’s Word, the night that I felt my son kick for the first time. To me, Caleb’s eyes were a modern day version of Noah’s rainbow. A visible sign of a promise from God. “Fear not, for I am with you.” In what seems like a world gone mad, where there is suffering, fear, and uncertainty, God is still in control. He is with us, holding us with His righteous right hand. I am reminded of this every time I see my son and look into his “miracle” eyes.

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Seen & Heard “I love the articles in the magazine and that they always pertain to something or someone in our community. I think it’s wonderful how many businesses participate and show their support. The pictures are always neat, it’s nice to see familiar faces and how everyone loves to be in it. My 10 year old daughter even enjoys the magazine, she is always looking at the pictures picking her friends out. It has something for everyone in it, definitely look forward to it every month, especially to see who is gonna be on the cover! Keep up the good work!” :-) – Kari Henry

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– Paula Heathscott 51


with Timothy R. Kamerman, D.C.

Your Head Is Like A Bowling Ball In our office, one of the items that gets the most comments is a bowling ball with a broomstick hammered down into it. Someone will usually say, “What in the world is that in here for?” This is one of my favorite educational tools. You see, the human head weighs anywhere from 8 to 12 pounds. That’s right, if you pick up a 10-pound bowling ball, that is about what your head weighs. When I have a patient pick up the bowling ball, they are amazed that their neck is holding up that kind of weight. I usually have them hold the broomstick with the bowling ball balanced on top. As we move it out of the center of gravity, they find it difficult to hold the bowling ball up. As you move your hands down the broomstick, the task becomes even harder, and thus, the patient begins to understand that for every degree of change out of the center of gravity, the stress doubles in the mid back and triples in the lower back. It does not take long before the person holding up the bowling ball starts to realize that your posture is very important as to how your neck and back feels. So, if your head gets a little bit forward of your shoulders, or a little bit back, or to the side, then over time you start to feel fatigued and different parts of the body start to wear. Sometimes the simplest visual aids are the most powerful. Out of all the fancy models we have in the office, none gets the attention like the bowling ball on a broomstick. So the question is, how balanced are you? Where is your bowling ball in reference to the rest of your spine?

Dr. Kamerman holds a bowling ball on a broomstick, representing the weight of a human head.

About the Writer Dr. Tim Kamerman is the founder of The Chiropractic Care Clinic on Hawkins Drive in Searcy. If you have any questions, comments, or would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Kamerman, please call (501) 268-2273

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By Carol Hutchison

o, I just moved back home. It’s been twenty years since I left. Wow. Just a few nights after we got all moved in I was feeling a little strange, so, being the big nerd that I am, I looked up the word ‘home’ in my dictionary. There are many variations of the word, but the first thing that popped up was, “the place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household.” After Christmas of 2008 - our first Christmas with our new baby, the Bug - I started thinking about it seriously. I remember telling my husband I was considering the thought of moving back to Searcy to be near family, and he looked at me like I was a little green man and said, “Are you crazy, woman?” But the idea sort of grew on me. It took almost two more years for me to get why, or, should I say, to just “give in.” Moving back to Searcy was on my “NEVER, EVER, EVER DO IT!” list. It’s not because Searcy isn’t a nice little town, but I’m just one of those people who likes to be out and go and see and do. Doesn’t matter what or where, I just like to go! That’s what I dreamed of growing up. And I have rarely been to the same place twice in my life, not when there’s all these new and exciting places I could go. There is a whole big, lovely world out there! My friend from high school, who was also my first roommate in college, asked me several times, “What the heck are you smoking?” And frankly, I have these moments when I think “What in the NAME of ALL that is HOLY am I DOING?” But then I have to remind myself that we did pray about it for a LONG TIME before doing this. It wasn’t just a whim. But we had to get really uncomfortable being in Tennessee before we actually did anything about it. The main thing is that raising a baby without any family around is just plain hard. They say, “it takes a village…,” (whoever “they” are) and now I see why! It’s hard on you physically at any age I suppose, but all I know about is my age - and I ain’t no spring chicken. (Source one of major discomfort!) In addition, we had very few relationships to speak of in Pleasant View, TN, and church was just hit and miss - mostly miss. That is not how I wanted to live my life. I have always had a constellation of friends and associates whom I enjoyed spending time with, and church has never just been a hobby. So, we were ready to get involved and 54 Your Hometown Magazine

really create community, but it just wasn’t happening in this Nashville suburb. Not because we were a couple of weirdos either. I mean, we are weirdos, but that wasn’t the deal. It was very cliquish where we lived. Out-of-towners just had a hard time there. It wasn’t that the Pleasant View people were bad folks or anything. They just had never left home or traveled out of the county. (Okay, I’m being a little harsh - but I’m not kidding!) It never crossed their minds that someone new might be needing a friend, or that a new mom was about to lose her ever-loving mind in the house next door! They had all grown up there and had their mommas and their cousins and their best friend since they were in the womb. You get it. Nothing wrong with that; just wasn’t working for us. We visited Searcy to see my folks several times in 2009, and every time it got harder to leave. We were comfortable here, and I wanted my baby to really know my mom and dad. We’d start talking about moving, but then we would drive the familiar roads of Searcy and pass the Sonic where I got slushes every day after high school. And I would see people I knew every time I went out, bumping into those precious ladies my mom knew from the Methodist Church, who knew everything about me when I could barely remember their names. (So humiliating!) And I would think, “I can’t do it. I can’t move back here. I need room to breathe. It would be like moving in reverse in my life.” But then we would leave to go back to Tennessee and I would be sad, and Mom would be sad. Everybody would just be sad! I was torn. We were living outside of Nashville, and I LOVE NASHVILLE! It’s my home away from home. If Nashville were a pair of boots, they would be my favorite pair, and I would wear them every day. And they would have rhinestones on them. Pink and red and fuchsia! I guess being an artist of all sorts just makes it a fit for me. And I’m a bit of a city girl. Not a New York City girl, but at least a small city girl, anyway. And I loved living near there. It’s artsy and eclectic and diverse. Just beautiful. We could see all types of shows from music to comedy to ballet and theatre and, and, and! The restaurants! Let me just put a plug in here for this little French restaurant called Marche’... oh, how I will miss that place and their applewood smoked bacon, and strange and yummy

salads, and pomegranate mimosas. ( I only had one with my brunch, thank you very much - for those of you who want to go and tell my Momma.) I would think about leaving Nashville and I would list all those things in my head. Then I would say, “Absolutely NOT!” Why would I leave all this? All this stuff makes my soul do a spritely little tango! But then I would get back to Pleasant View and I would miss my mom. I mean really miss my mom. It would hurt my heart to think about being away from my mother as I watched my baby grow and develop, knowing my mom was missing it all. My tango would turn into an awkward slow dance at a junior high party and I would find myself thinking and planning the next time I could come home. When my Daddy became ill in June of last year and had a four day stay at the hospital, I was feeling the pressure. We had a short visit in August and right after that we made the decision. FINALLY. But it wasn’t us making the decision on our own. Oh, no. I had to have a catalyst. Something had to force my body, despite the fact that my heart knew what I needed to do. My favorite sitter was my next door neighbor. She was this sweet, simple gal who also happened to have a daughter a few months younger than mine. She had a hard time getting pregnant, but she was one of those ladies who dreamt of being a mom, and once her baby got here, it was EVERYTHING she dreamed it would be. Okay, for me this equals the perfect sitter. However, I suppose while we were on that trip in August she enjoyed the time off, because when we got back she said she wanted more time to herself and quit. That was it. I just couldn’t do it any longer. I had felt the walls closing in for months and months and that was the last pounding nail. I knew I had to come home. The feeling I had when we made that decision? RELIEF! I had been fighting so long to stay where I thought I wanted to be that when I let go I felt completely exhausted. It’s a funny thing when you relinquish control and get in God’s will. I honestly did not know I was out of His will. Well, deep down, I knew something was off, I knew I was really uncomfortable and actually miserable, but we were just cruising along, wondering what in the world we did wrong! In the previous two years, we had placed three different offers on three separate houses in another suburb of Nashville, and all had fallen through, much to my dismay. (I had mentally moved in and decorated each one.) We had also been house shopping in another area after all that, and nothing ever came of our efforts. Now, in hindsight, I think, “Well, no wonder! God was just waiting for us to decide to come home.” Unfortunately, sometimes I am so dense that He has to help me along... But I am so thankful that He did! So many doors have opened to make a way for us to be here. The house we found to rent wasn’t even a rental; it was up for sale, but the sales contract had conveniently ended two weeks before we needed to move in. Luckily for us, my mom knew the owner and he agreed to rent to us. I have had old friends pop up to get reacquainted and they have become like family. It’s been surreal, but actually really nice. We have even met some new friends already. And I have to say, as someone who has had some experience moving (this is number 22), it has gone so smoothly. A very peaceful move. Even though I have so much more stuff this time - including a little Bug! I’m Home, at least for this season in my life. Who knew

this would be so right for me? I never, ever would have thought it possible. Although, I have realized that being in a smaller town will mean adjustments for me in both thought and action, some of them quite laughable. I had only been here a week or so when I went to the grocery store for the first time. As soon as I got on the road, I thought to myself, “Do I have lipstick on?” Oh, Mom would never approve of me going out without my lipstick on. I could just hear the conversation in my head... “Carol? (the phone) This is Mom... Are you okay?” “Yes Mom, I’m fine, a little tired maybe, but all is well...” “Oh... Well, Mrs. So-n-So, you remember her...” “No, Mom, I don’t.” “Yes, you do.” UGH! It’s been 20 years since I lived here for goodness sake! “You remember, her daughter was six years younger than you in school, no, well, it was more than that, um... Well, no it was eight years after you graduated, yep, I know that because that’s the year Mr. So-n-So died. Well, anyway, she saw you out at the grocery store and said you looked like you didn’t feel good.” She did, did she? Well, bless her heart... “No, mom. I’m Fine.” “Well, okay... Just makin’ sure.” And that’s how it would go. Or at least something similar. So I pulled out of my street, reached into my handbag and pulled out the brightest shade of pink I could find. Carol Cheshier Hutchison was raised in Searcy. She graduated from Arkansas State in Jonesboro in 1997 with a BFA in Drawing. She has taught all grade levels in the subject of art. She is a stay at home mom, and just began writing last year because she can do it with very few supplies, no mess, and conveniently when the Bug is asleep. Carol will be opening a studio in downtown Searcy, upstairs in the Dudley Building.

MariGracyn with her Papaw (Rommie Cheshier) and her MiMi (Mary Lynn Cheshier). 55

The Searcy Living Foster Care Boutique is simply a room we have dedicated in the Searcy Living business office. Our awesome Searcy Living readers bring in donations and DHS case workers and foster parents get what they need for foster and disadvantaged children at no cost. Our office is located at 812 S. Main Street in Searcy.

Thank you to all our camera shy donors!

Thank you to all who donate to the Searcy Living Foster Care Boutique. So many children have been served because of YOU! 56 Your Hometown Magazine

Recently, Isaac Gardner celebrated his 7th birthday. Instead of getting gifts from those who attended, Isaac had his guests bring donations for the Searcy Children’s Home. He wanted others who weren’t as fortunate as him to be blessed with items they need. This was a great example of how giving is better than receiving. Hopefully Isaac’s example of humility will be one that we can all learn from.

Searcy Children’s Home’s Needs

This is a wish list of items needed for the Searcy Children’s Home, Inc. They can be dropped off at the office at the Searcy Children’s Home office located at 509 N. Main Street in Searcy. Toilet Paper: Quilted Northern, Charmin, Angel Soft Paper Towels: Brawny, Scott, or Bounty Napkins: any brand Cleaning Wipes: Clorox, Lysol, etc. Plastic Cups: 3 oz. Dixie Cups Paper Plates Kleenex with lotion Lotion Children’s 2-in-1 Shampoo/Conditioner Children’s Body Wash Ziploc Baggies: quart and gallon, storage and freezer Children’s Tylenol/Ibuprofen (all ages - infant, liquid and chewables) Other children’s medication (i.e. cough syrup, Benadryl (liquid and cream), decongestant, etc.) Batteries (AA, AAA, D) Cleaning Supplies (prefer the “green” ones) Stainless Steel Pots and Pans Foil, Saran Wrap, Wax Paper 57

“Today a new sun rises for me; everything lives, everything is animated, everything seems to speak to me of my passion, everything invites me to cherish it.” —Anne de Lenclos

“Unless you walk out into the unknown, the odds of making a profound difference in your life are pretty low.” — Tom Peters

58 Your Hometown Magazine

“The best day of your life is the one on which you decide your life is your own. No apologies or excuses. No one to blame. The gift of life is yours; it is an amazing journey; and you alone are responsible for the quality of it.” —Dan Zadra

“Make each day your masterpiece.” —John Wooden 59

“History doesn’t belong to the best. It belongs to those who want it the worst.” —Sam Sundquist

“Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.” —Anais Nin

60 Your Hometown Magazine

“Make your life a happy one. That is where success is possible to everyone.” —Robert Powell 61

“These are the days of miracle and wonder.” —Paul Simon 63

“My lifetime listens to yours.” —Margaret Peters

“Each of us has a choice about how to love the world in our own unique way.” –Bernie Siegel

“I believe that everyone, with absolutely no exceptions, can give love and that one single loving person changes the world.” –Barry Neil Kaufman

64 Your Hometown Magazine

“When you’re with a friend, your heart has come home.” —Emily Farrar 65

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Recipe Submitted by Tanya Leckie

& A Magazine

This started out as a recipe for chocolate syrup (not the canned stuff, but rather the kind true Southerners know all about) for hot biscuits, which some people call chocolate gravy. Southerners KNOW their chocolate syrup. Well, we migrated from biscuits to hot yellow cake, fresh out of the oven… just poke holes in the cake and pour this over it. We then moved to pouring it over ice cream, brownies, a SPOON …… It’s quite addictive!

1 c. sugar 1 c. white Karo syrup ½ c. unsweetened cocoa powder ½ c. evaporated milk 3 Tbsp butter ¼ tsp salt 1 tsp vanilla

In a medium saucepan combine the sugar, Karo, cocoa, milk, butter, and salt and heat over medium low until it boils. Slowly boil for 3 minutes, remove from heat, and add vanilla. Serve over hot biscuits... or whatever you can find that will get it from the pan to your mouth. Store leftovers (if there ever are any) in fridge in a mason jar.

Tanya Turner Leckie’s cookbook Cartwheels In The Kitchen, is available at Midnight Oil Coffee House, Harding University Bookstore, online at www., and by contacting her at

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& A Magazine

Recipe Submitted by Miguel Espina

During the hot summer months, our family used to sit around the table in the late afternoons and cool off with a great bowl of Gazpacho, a cold tomato based soup. You can follow the recipe or let your imagination fly; you can use any type of vegetables that you may have laying around your kitchen. To make it richer, use one half V-8 juice and the other half chicken stock. Sometimes my grandmother would put a large scoop of lime sherbet in each bowl - that was really good! Any way you eat it, Gazpacho will be delicious and nutritious and a cool summer treat.

procedures 4 Tomatoes, 5X6, quartered 2 cucumbers, peeled and halved 1 yellow onion, peeled and halved ½ cup of diced green bell peppers 1 cup of diced roasted red bell peppers, drained 1 can (12 ounces each) of V-8 juice ½ cup of olive oil ¼ cup of red wine vinegar ¼ cup lime juice ½ teaspoon of Tabasco sauce 1 teaspoon of salt 1 teaspoon of ground white pepper 2 garlic cloves, finely minced ½ cup of fresh chopped chives

Online Extra You can find more recipes on!

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In a blender, combine half the tomatoes, half the cucumbers, half the onions, half the green bell pepper, half the roasted red bell peppers and 1/2 cup of the V-8 juice. Blend at high speed for 30 seconds or until all the vegetables are pureed. In a large bowl, mix the pureed vegetables with the remaining V-8 juice, the olive oil, the vinegar, the lime juice, the Tabasco, the salt and the pepper. Chop the remaining vegetables and add to the mixture. Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours or until well chilled. Serve in chilled bowls and garnish with the chopped chives. YIELD 8 SERVINGS Miguel is working on writing a cookbook with all the dinner party recipes at the Searcy Country Club. It will include at least 12 dinners, one for each month of the year, with each dinner consisting of 6 to 7 dishes, so you will be looking at not less than 78 mouth watering original recipes.

Seen & Heard “I like everything about Searcy Living magazine. It keeps us posted on things going on in our city as well as has articles with good Christian morals and beliefs. The kind of magazine the kind of city like Searcy needs and deserves.” – Irene Wilks Gray

“I love Searcy Living because all the articles send a positive message and inspire people to reach out to others! I also love my dear friend, the publisher!” :) – Betsy Bell Bailey

“I love the inspirational stories, house showings, and the make overs! :) Plus, I love, love that it is all local!” – Bridget Fortenberry

I look so forward to seeing that purple bag on my drive way!” – Roxanne Miles

“I enjoy the Searcy Living Magazine because it allows me to learn so much about the city and community. My wife and I use the reviews to find good food at different places and look for bargains. It gives us a feeling of truly belonging to the Searcy community!” – Mike Daughtrey

Have something to share? We’d love to hear from you on Facebook! 69


“Life is really fun, if we only give it a chance.” 70 Your Hometown Magazine

~Tim Hansel

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!

Send us your photos for Out & About to See for guidelines.

Find more OUT&A BOUT on! 71

Games & Puzzles STUMPED? Get the answers, play games, download wallpaper and tons more online at!

Crossword DOWN

2. Author of “Miracle Eyes” 3. An eight year old’s faith that “Moved Mountains” 5. Disease mentioned in “A Yellow Tear” 12. Article “Full Circle” by Carol Hutchison is about moving back _______.


1. Kelsy’s Best Friend 4. A section in the magazine showing photos of some of your favorite people! “_______ and About” 6. Center for Disease Control 7. How many pounds did Caleb Lutrell weigh when he was born? 8. “Miracle Eyes” Family 9. Artist Carol Hutchison refers to her daughter as _______. 10. Boutique serving Foster Children in White County and beyond. Searcy _______ Foster Care Boutique 11. Rotary Two Person Golf Challenge Celebrates ____ Years 13. Searcy _______ Motto: “Putting Service Before Self” 14. _______ and Believe Foundation.


I am a three digit number. My ten’s digit is five more than my one’s digit. My hundred’s digit is eight less than my ten’s digit. What number am I?

When can you add 2 to 11 to get 1?

72 Your Hometown Magazine 73

74 Your Hometown Magazine 75

Searcy Living Issue #3 2011  

Including Yellow Tear, Miracle Eyes, Moving Mountains, Full Circle and more.

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