February Baby Guide 2016 sponsored by Harvey Pediatrics

There’s nothing to me as sweet as a newborn and it’s true that they only stay little for a short time. That’s why we love bringing you our special delivery…the 2016 Baby Guide sponsored by Harvey Pediatrics. If you are an expectant parent or grandparent or one who’s in the thick of it, be sure to keep a copy of this issue on hand. It’s jam packed with fun activities, preschools, health care and dental providers, photographers, clothing, furniture, gifts, child care providers and foster care specifically for little ones who’ve yet to be born through precocious 3 year olds! It gives me baby fever every time.

Look for these advertisers on pages 2-35 with the guide feature beginning on page 36. Please be sure to thank them for the services and opportunities they offer and tell them you saw their ad in Kid’s Directory.

We’re honored that Harvey Pediatrics chose to sponsor this issue. Harvey Pediatrics was founded in 2004 in Jonesboro by Dr. Bryan Harvey and he moved the practice to NWA in 2010. Their team is comprised of four pediatricians, a nurse practitioner and a certified behavioral specialist. One distinction that sets them apart is their designated clinic for the well care of newborns through 6 month old babies.They also serve patients up to 18 years old by providing developmental testing and counseling.

This spring, they plan to open a 15,000 square foot state of the art facility at 900 South 52nd Street in Rogers (Pinnacle Hills). The facility will not only house Harvey Pediatrics but also offer office space for other pediatric providers in order to serve as an integrated medical campus for children. You can learn more about Harvey Pediatrics at harveypediatrics.com or 479.254.1100.

Even with all this talk about babies, we haven’t forgotten about this month’s holiday. One of my friends recently posted a creative idea for her little one to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Honestly, this could be used year round. It’s a beautiful reminder to be thankful for the people and things in life that we love.

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Save the date. Our Summer Camp Guide is coming in April. It’s filled with camps and programs to keep your kids active, learning, engaged and having fun all summer! Let the countdown to summer begin!

A Mentoring Story

Happy January, National Mentoring Month, and the perfect time to learn about Big Brothers Big Sisters, the oldest and largest youth mentoring organization in the country! Since 1993, BBBS has been in Northwest Arkansas, forming over 1,900 mentoring matches in Washington and Benton counties. These one-to-one mentoring relationships between caring adults (“Bigs”) and children (“Littles”) have documented positive outcomes for the children. Survey results show that Littles have improved school attendance, healthier peer relationships, enhanced self-confidence and outlook for their future, and are less likely to use drugs or alcohol, or get into fights. In 2015, BBBS NWA volunteers gave over 19,000 mentoring hours to help 260 children.

In order to be a Little, the child typically either lives below the poverty level, has a parent in jail, or comes from a single parent home, and often a child qualifies on all three accounts. As child safety is a primary concern, there is structured protocol that all chapters follow regarding the recruitment and interviews of the Bigs, the Littles and their families; the matching process; and then the monthly monitoring by the program staff. It costs about $1,000 to set-up and monitor a match for the first year. All programs and services are provided free to the Little, their family and the Big. Littles joining the program are 6 to 14 years old, and then age out at 18 years old. Many Littles and Bigs are lifelong friends.

We have a significant need for Big Brothers and Big Sisters in Northwest Arkansas, as well as Big Couples and Big Families (where the entire family can enjoy being with the Little.) In fact, putting a child with a Big Family is a great way for that child to experience healthy family dynamics and, in the case of a Little who is an only child, provide him or her with virtual siblings. Participating families have remarked that their family time together actually improves when a Little is around as the family is often more focused on doing an activity together instead of scattering in different directions! There are 40 children on the waiting list right now, many of whom are boys.

Match activities don’t need to be fancy or expensive; it is all about spending time with the child. Activities can include going to the park, visiting a museum, baking cookies or tossing a football in the backyard! And yet, what a difference this attention from a caring and encouraging adult can make in the life of a child.

Here is one of the success stories…

Zayne and his Big, Jeff Young, were matched in 2014 when Zayne was nine years old and going into fifth grade. His counselor recommended to his mother that Zayne might enjoy having a Big Brother. Zayne lives with his mother Melissa and sister, and his parents are divorced. Melissa strongly felt that Zayne would benefit from a having a kind, caring and positive male role model, particularly one that could model how to positively express and control one’s emotions, as at times Zayne would get angry and lash out. She felt the Big Brother would need to be fairly energetic and athletic to keep up with Zayne, and hoped he would be a good leader, exhibit a strong work ethic and be willing to have fun and try new things. Melissa is quite pleased with the match, reports that Zayne is having a wonderful time with Jeff, and is so appreciative of the time and attention he devotes to her son.

Match Day

Match Day

Since Jeff and Zayne both adore sports, much of their time together is spent participating in or watching sporting events (an activity that Mrs. Young is just as happy to miss!) Together, they have enjoyed going to Razorback football and basketball games, watching Naturals baseball, volleyball and other assorted teams. Jeff has also cheered on Zayne at his wrestling matches and baseball games. Together, they have participated in two of the Razorback football practice visits that Big Brothers Big Sisters matches get invited to watch, both in 2014 and 2015, where they were lucky enough to meet Coach Bielema and get autographs from the football team members.

Coach and Zayne and Jeff Young 2014

Meeting Coach Bielema

Zayne also enjoys spending time with Jeff’s family including daughter Rachel, a Razorback cheerleader, and RHS Mountie football playing son Jay, and Jeff will jokingly tease that Zayne prefers spending time with his kids rather than him. Zayne has also benefited from some extra one-on-one reading help from Mrs. Young, and has significantly increased his reading score at school. Zayne has gone to church with the Youngs, and now is interested in getting baptized.

Hog Game with Rachel

Hog Game with Rachel

Jeff and Zayne took part in the inaugural NWA Lemonade Day in 2015 where the two studied the 14 lessons of entrepreneurship, culminating in having a lemonade stand in Rogers on the first Saturday in May. There, Zayne exhibited his salesman skills and sold $150 of lemonade.

A more typical visit includes them throwing the football in the backyard and then going out for some pizza, or maybe out for a fun activity like a quick trip to the trampoline park or golf course. On their first day together, they ended up going to Casey’s for a slice of pizza and a soda, and that quickly evolved into “their spot” to just hangout and talk. According to Jeff, they spend quiet time talking about life, how to handle challenges, school, God, and of course, girls (a thought that sends Zayne into giggles). Jeff says that Zayne is caring and kind, fun and funny, and over their time together, he has seen Zayne grow from a quiet and shy boy to one who is confident and comfortable with whom he is.

First Outing

First Outing

To learn how you can become a mentor, contact us at bbbsnwa.org or (479) 966-4366.

Sarah Van Vleck
Development Director
Big Brothers Big Sisters of NWA

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January 2016 Non-Profit Spotlight brought to you by Arkansas Virtual Academy

Happy 2016!

A new year usually brings to mind one thing…new year’s resolutions. For us at Kid’s Directory, we approach the new year a bit differently. It’s our opportunity to salute the organizations who resolve to make a difference all year. These non-profit agencies fight tirelessly for their cause usually with very small budgets. This special issue dedicated to non-profits is our way of saying THANK YOU and recognizing their efforts. Please take a moment to learn more about the work they’re doing in the spotlight feature on pages 34-41. You may find one that provides a service you need or prompts you to give back.

We also offer sincere thanks to Arkansas Virtual Academy for sponsoring this issue. ARVA is a publicly-funded online charter school that provides an education that meets or exceeds state standards using the world-class K¹² curriculum and allows you to be an active participant in your child’s education. ARVA families receive a complete set of curriculum, lesson planning programs, books and instructional materials, the use of a computer for qualifying students, subsidized Internet access for qualifying students, and the guidance of a highly-qualified, licensed teacher. Visit their website at arva.k12.com or call 866.339.4951 for more information.

One final thank you goes to The Billings Family for allowing us to photograph Piper Josie for the cover. Her joy and love are contagious. And that smile! It melts your heart every time. We first learned about Piper from Sunshine School & Development Center where she is a student. Their services encompass programs for disabled to “typically developing” individuals through special education, therapy (physical, speech, occupational & outpatient), preschool enrichment and after school care. Learn more at nwasunshineschool.org or 636.3190.

If you are expecting a little one or have one or two already, you’ll want to pick up our Baby Guide coming in February brought to you by Harvey Pediatrics! It’s the perfect resource for any parent, grandparent, or child care provider of newborns to preschoolers.

We’re thrilled to share another year with you! Thanks NWA!

December Holiday Gifts and Events Guide 2015

Writing the last letter of the year is a surreal feeling. Knowing that another year has come and gone makes me pause to reflect on what I’ve done with it. Did I waste time? Did I serve well? Was I a person worthy of being called friend, wife, mom or daughter? What impact did I make? Tough questions but in need of asking.

It does seem that every year goes by faster than the one before. Some days I wish I could slow down time but in the everyday moments of life, I find myself wanting the day to hurry up and be over already. Today though I did what I proclaim to never have time to do. I sat. And rocked. And held my little boy while he slept. He wasn’t sick or having a hard time going to sleep. He just wanted his momma. It felt good and precious and I’ll never regret spending my time with him.

During this season where everything seems especially hurried, I hope you’re able to slow down and enjoy the gifts you’ve been given–health, family, friends and jobs and that you’ll experience peace and joy not only now but throughout the new year. We hope this simple resource, the Holiday Gifts and Events Guide, will help you do that by simplifying holiday shopping and giving you the information you need to find special holiday events perfect for your family. We all need time savers and stress relievers!

We had an absolute blast meeting you at the NWA Boutique Show last month. Some of you really rocked the photo booth and we’re happy to know you enjoy a good cup of coffee as much as we do! Look for our float this month in the Rogers (Dec 4th, 7pm) and Bentonville (Dec 12th, 11am) Christmas Parades. We’ll have some super cute “toys” greeting you and sharing candy. We look forward to seeing you.

We’re grateful for another year serving NWA and wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from our families to yours!

November Holiday Gifts & Events 2015 Sponsored by Rhea Lana's

Can you believe we’re in November already? It’s hard for me to imagine that Thanksgiving and Christmas are right around the corner though my kids keep reminding me that Christmas is NOT coming soon enough for them! Since we know many of you are planners, we are bringing you our Holiday Gifts and Events Issue in November. But if you need more time, don’t worry. It’ll be featured in December too. These guides provide unique gift ideas for all the special people on your holiday list and fun events that are sure to become family traditions.

Since we celebrate Thanksgiving this month, I have an experiment for you. Keep a record the entire month of how many times in a day you thank someone. This would be fun to do with your kids too. Don’t force a “thank you” but genuinely mean it. Total your results on the 30th then determine if you need to express gratitude more often. Thanksgiving Day is an easy day for us to say “thanks” but shouldn’t it be the norm rather than the exception? Let’s practice true appreciation more than once a year. I think Ralph Waldo Emerson said it well. “Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”

With that being said, we thank Rhea Lana’s for sponsoring this issue and for continuing to provide the best children’s consignment event venue in NWA. We are honored by their partnership. Their fall sale is November 8-12 at 1106 N. Old Missouri Rd, Springdale (previously National Home Center). Take your Christmas list…you’ll find fabulous clothing, toys, baby equipment, furniture and more all in one location! Holiday shopping made easy.

For more fun and convenient shopping, plan to attend the NWA Boutique Show, November 6th & 7th at the NWA Convention Center in Springdale. They’ll have over 150 one-of-a-kind boutiques including home and holiday decor, clothing, gifts, gourmet food, children’s items and much more. While you’re there, be sure to stop by our booth so you can register for our giveaways and take fun pictures at our photo booth provided by Oh Snap!

Happy Thanksgiving NWA!

NWA Boutique Show Giveaway ~ Girl's Night Out

The NWA Boutique Show is coming soon, November 6th and 7th at the Springdale Convention Center. Shop over 150 merchants featuring thousands of one-of-a-kind and custom items! So, who needs a Girl’s Night Out? We have an awesome giveaway and we will be selecting 3 winners to each recieve 2 Girls Night Out passes ($30 value), 4 general admission tickets ($20 value), plus a $15 gift certificate to one of our merchants!

A little more about Girl’s Night Out:
Join the NWA Boutique Show as the lights go down and the fun goes up! Win amazing prizes from the show merchants, shop to tunes from D.J. Brian, grab a beverage and sample delicious treats from local favorites like JJ’s, Slim Chicken’s, Ozark Natural Foods and Nestle Waters!

Tickets are just $12 in advance online, through 11/5/15, or $15 at the door with a portion of proceeds benefiting Junior Civic League!

Make it an overnight girls trip! The Springdale Holiday Inn has a special rate of $89 per night for NWA Boutique Show shoppers. (That’s about $40 off the regular rate!) As a special thank-you for advance booking, guests will receive two complimentary breakfast vouchers per room per night AND two complimentary general admission tickets to the NWA Boutique Show at will call. Reserve your room by calling the Holiday Inn directly at 479-751-8300. Simply request to be put in the “Boutique Show” Block. Or, for online reservations, just make sure to enter BOU as the group code!

To enter like Kid’s Directory Facebook page, like the NWA Boutique Show Facebook page and tell us why you need a girl’s night out in the comments below!

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NWA Boutique Show VIP Giveaway

It’s almost time for the NWA Boutique Show, the premier shopping event of the year, happening November 6th and 7th at the Springdale Convention Center! We are giving away 2 VIP passes ($50 value) which allows you to shop first, 4 general admission tickets to pass out to your friends ($20 value), and a $15 gift certificate to one of the merchants! Plus, we are giving this to THREE winners! To enter, like Kid’s Directory and NWA Boutique facebook Pages and tell us the hardest person on your list to shop for in the comments below!  We are sure you can find something unique at this show to help you out!

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Finding Diamonds in NWA

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Arkansas is known as the Natural State as well as the Diamond State. Well, let me tell you, we found an Arkansas diamond this summer – a diamond in the rough!! My family likes to go on adventures and explore hiking trails. We don’t get to do it as often as we’d like, but we had time to do some exploring this past Fourth of July weekend. So we set out to find a hiking trail to a waterfall. We Googled, we surfed, but we really couldn’t find anything with an, “Easy” trail and a waterfall. Our next option was to try an adventure app, and I found this cool app called, “All Trails”. It’s free in the Apple App Store, so I started searching their database and found Kings River Falls. It’s southeast of Huntsville and about a one hour 45 minute drive from Bentonville. It sounded interesting, and we knew from the app that there was a waterfall, so we loaded up and headed to Kings River Falls.

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After arriving at the trail head (and I use that term loosely), we ate a quick picnic lunch before heading down the trail. The hike itself takes about 20 to 30 minutes, but what we found was something so unexpected – not only a waterfall but an amazing swimming hole, too!! It felt like we stumbled upon God’s hidden water park; although, we weren’t the only ones fortunate enough to check out this place that day. We weren’t prepared to get wet, but that didn’t stop us. The kids swam in their shorts, and we used our best Bear Grylls skills to dry off when we got back to the car.

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10517669_1212570492092977_616992401031374854_oThis spur-of-the-moment trip was so worth it, and we’ll definitely be going back next summer if not sooner!! Things to remember for our next trip include swimsuits, towels, more food, and maybe a football. Next time, we’ll picnic at the swimming hole. If you have found a similar, “Diamond” in our Natural State, let us know – we want to check it out! ☺

Blog & pictures provided by Nicole Pawlaczyk, Capture Me Photography by Nicole www.cmpbynicole.com or  facebook.com/capturemephotographybynicole

October 2015 Birthday Bash Issue

What’s the best way to celebrate 13 years in business? Bring you the best family resource for planning your next BIRTHDAY BASH of course! This issue has it all. Looking for a Princess, Ninja Warrior, Art, Train, Bowling, Clown, Gymnastics, Pumpkin Patch, Pirate, Nail or Laser Tag party? It’s all right here at your fingertips. What about the perfect gift? Make a one-of-a kind art piece, give a cute tutu for a special dancer, purchase a photography session, handmade soaps & bath products or a gift certificate to the mall. This resource will make planning & hosting a snap! Not to mention that many of these great businesses are offering discounts. Yes, we’ll have our cake & eat it too!

Special thanks this month to Fast Lane Entertainment for sponsoring this issue & to the owners, Christopher & Katherine Moore, for allowing us to photograph their children for the cover. Fast Lane has some exciting changes coming soon…watch for the BIG announcement!

If you haven’t visited our website lately, be sure to stop by www.nwakidsdirectory.com soon. Our blog is filling up with posts from our awesome advertisers & local mom bloggers. We also are hosting contests through the web, so while you’re there, sign up to receive emails to keep you in the loop.

Lastly, I want to recognize one of our team members who goes above & beyond what’s expected of her. Nicole Pawlaczyk of Capture Me Photography by Nicole is a delight to be around & work alongside. She has an engineering degree (too smart for me) but left that career to pursue one in photography. Last month she got to try her hand at the cover & she nailed it! We adore you, Nicole, & thank you for all you do for Kid’s Directory!

We’ll be at the NWA Boutique Show on November 6th & 7th at the NWA Convention Center in Springdale. We’d love to meet you AND we’ll have lots of fun giveaways PLUS a photo booth from Oh Snap! so you can capture all the fun you had! See you there!

Monday Mom~ "Just Start" by Lynn Hancock

So, who has started doing something to become more active this month as we have focused on Health and Wellness? If you haven’t, READ THIS! 2 years ago, Lynn Hancock, left her great corporate career to teach yoga and be a personal trainer. She wanted nothing more than to make an impact in someone’s life. She has not only impacted one person but MANY and is an integral part of our local fitness community. Today she shares with us some inspiring words about overcoming your obstacles and getting started on your health and wellness journey. Enjoy!

One of the most common obstacles that I hear from people regarding their health and well-being is, “I don’t have time.” If being healthier and increasing your level of fitness is a goal you are falling short of, the obstacle is not that you don’t have time. The obstacle is not managing your time and energy. If all your time and energy is going to your work, the only passion in your life is work (and we know that’s not your only passion!). If all your time is going into your family, then your only passion is family. None of these things alone are “bad.” But your family life will suffer if all your energy is sucked into work. Just as your health will suffer if no energy or time is devoted to it. Don’t make yourself a victim to “I don’t have time.” Your energy will flow to where intention goes.  Learn to say no to things that are sucking up precious energy – it’s one of the hardest things you’ll learn how to do!  Saying yes is so easy!  But if those asks are not part of your priorities or are taking time from a goal you just can’t seem to accomplish – redirect!  Just like a child who is focusing energy on a temper tantrum or something they cannot have – redirect!

Don’t know where to start?  If you don’t know what to do to start your health & fitness journey, the second most common obstacle I hear, enlist help!  A friend or a trainer who will hold you accountable – not someone who will let you skip workouts!  A support system is one of the key items to hitting a goal.  Explain to those around you that your goal is important to you and as key people in your life, you need their support to help you meet your goal.  If you don’t find support with those close to you, enlist someone that it is their job to keep you accountable.  

Some of my most successful clients are the ones who made the time, changed their habits over periods of time, and had friends and family to support their journey.

Above all, just start! Start somewhere, anywhere. You are worth it. You are so worth it.  

Thanks, Lynn, for your contribution!

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For more inspiration you can follow Lynn on
her Facebook page, Small but Fierce Yoga and Fitness.