Category Archives: Uncategorized

12th Annual April Summer Camp Guide 2015

We’ve waited all winter for this…the 12th Annual Summer Camp Guide! Our kids’ summers may be short this year but I’m sure we’ll all hear, “I’m bored” at least once this summer. Maybe twice. Per day. None of us want that. That’s why this issue is the best resource to beat summer boredom. There are 63 camps or programs included on pages 7-45 with their guide listings on pages 46-57. When you contact these business or enroll your kids for a program, please be sure to tell them you heard about them from Kid’s Directory.

Not only do we need to keep our kids active this summer but also safe. This may be the first summer you’ve needed to consider full time child care options. We understand how scary & overwhelming the decision can be & want to assure you there are some outstanding programs, ones you can trust to give quality care with lots of fun. Better Beginnings recommends you make a summer child care checklist with these questions in mind.

  • Do the program’s activities address my child’s interests and abilities?
  • Is the program licensed or accredited?
  • Who will be working with my child?
  • What is the ratio of staff to children/youth?                                                                                                                                                       Source:

We also want to wish Katinka Sweet, our Sales Director, a Happy One Year Anniversary! She joined our team last April & is an invaluable asset. Her passion is sales but she graciously extends herself in a customer services role as well. Katinka, we love you bunches & are grateful to call you our co-worker & friend!

Remember to register your child for our June Cover Kid Contest! To enter, come see us at one of our booths at The World’s Largest Baby Shower on March 28th OR Champions for Kids RazorFest on April 25th AND submit your child’s picture to by April 30, 2015. A winner will be drawn & announced on May 1, 2015. We look forward to meeting you & seeing your child’s sweet picture!

Happy Spring NWA!

February Baby Guide 2015

There’s no doubt that as parents we give our best for the ones entrusted to us. From the time we learn of our pregnancies or adoptions, we love, pray, dream, nurture, worry, teach, protect, question & hope. All this & more. So much of this holds true for us at Kid’s Directory. We strive to provide the best family resource & that sometimes feels like we’re caring for a responsibility that’s beyond us…much like parenting, a labor of love!

The February Baby Guide offers everything you need for your little ones but it’s not just for tiny babies. This resource is filled with fun activities & amusements, pediatricians, photographers, dentists, child care, clothing, furniture & more for children ages three & under. They may be walking & talking, but let’s be honest, they’re still babies. You can learn more about these businesses on pages 34-43.

To help celebrate Valentine’s Day, we want to share some interesting trivia about this month’s romantic holiday. We’re sure you’ll wow your co-workers, friends & family with the vast knowledge you learn here & hopefully laugh some too! My personal favorites are the last two.

  • Approximately 150 million Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged annually, making Valentine’s Day the second most popular card-sending holiday after Christmas.
  • The oldest known valentine still in existence today was a poem written in 1415 by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London.
  • Over 50 percent of all Valentine’s Day cards are purchased in the six days prior to the observance, making Valentine’s Day a procrastinator’s delight.
  • Women purchase approximately 85 percent of all valentines.
  • In the 1840s, Esther A. Howland began selling the first mass-produced valentines in America. Howland, known as the “Mother of the Valentine,” made elaborate creations with real lace, ribbons and colorful pictures known as “scrap.”
  • More than 40,000 Americans are employed at chocolate companies.
  • Conversation hearts date back to Victorian times. Back then, lovesick bachelors would give “conversation lozenges” with phrases like “How do you flirt?” and “Can you polka?” to the objects of their affection.


Be watching for our NEW Spring Cleaning Guide coming in March! This one stop guide is perfect for the one time of year that projects like cleaning, organizing, and doing repairs around the house don’t feel like chores – they feel like a fresh start. Also coming is our 12th annual Summer Camp Guide in April! It’s the biggest resource for all your kids’ summer needs. Contact Katinka to learn more about these or any of our upcoming issues.


January 2015 Non-Profit Spotlight

Happy 2015! We hope you had a sweet time celebrating Christmas & New Year’s with your loved ones. With another little one running around our house, the holidays brought lots of entertainment & fun. I don’t know about you but 2014 certainly felt like a time warp for our family!

It’s our privilege to bring you this Non-Profit Spotlight featuring organizations that provide health care, therapy, counseling, shelter for children & families, cultural arts, education & more. If you’re looking for a new year’s resolution that makes a lasting impact, check out these amazing non-profit agencies starting on page 7 with the spotlight feature on pages 36-43 to learn how you can make a difference. We think Albert Einstein said it well, “only a life lived in the service to others is worth living.”

We’re also delighted to share a cover story with you from Big Brothers Big Sisters that brings hope & encouragement for the new year. And who doesn’t need that? Thank you, Nicholas & Andrew, for giving us a glimpse into your lives.

All the best for 2015!



Happy January, National Mentoring Month! A great time to learn about Big Brothers Big Sisters, the oldest and largest youth mentoring organization in the country. Since 1993, BBBS has had a presence in Northwest Arkansas, forming over 1,700 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 who have been matched for 12 months or longer have improved school attendance, healthier peer relationships, improved ability to avoid fights and use physical violence, and enhanced self-confidence and outlook for their future.

In order to qualify to be a Little, the child must either live below the poverty level, have a parent in jail, or come from a single parent home, and often a child qualifies on all three accounts. In Northwest Arkansas, there is a huge need for more adults to volunteer as Bigs and the funding it takes to facilitate the recruitment, match and follow-up process. 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 ongoing monitoring by the program staff. It costs about $1,000 to set-up and monitor a match for one year, and the values the Little can learn may keep them in school, off drugs and out of jail. Here is just one of the many success stories.

Nicholas and Andrew were matched in December 2012 when Nicholas was 8 years old and in third grade. Nicholas lives with his mother Layce and two brothers, Michael who is 2 years older, and a younger brother who was then 11 months old.  Nicholas’ father is frequently incarcerated. At the time, Layce was looking for a male role model for Nicholas who could encourage him academically, help increase his self confidence, and help him learn how to cope with a big brother who rarely wanted to play with him. Layce also felt that Nicholas was a little shy and she wanted him to open up more. Like many boys his age, Nicholas spent a great deal of time playing video games. When asked about why he might want a Big Brother, Nicholas responded that it would give him someone to stay at home with and play video games with.

Enter Andrew Arkell, a 24 year old University of Arkansas graduate from New Hampshire. Looking to give back to the community, Andrew decided to become a Big Brother after reading about another Big’s successful experience. Following the match, Andrew and Nicholas began meeting 2 or 3 times a month, going to the Gentry Zoo, bowling, the movies, Terra Studios, the library and park. Andrew quickly discovered that he was having a lot of fun seeing the world through the eyes of an 8 year old boy, and that it beat being always in the adult work world! Andrew intentionally balances their expeditions between indoor sedate ones, such as drawing comics and playing video games, with outside activities such as sports play or exploring a new place. Andrew was delighted when Nicholas exclaimed that roller skating was better than his favorite video game!

Nicholas lit up when asked about spending time with Andrew, explaining that Andrew has taught him a lot of different things including drawing a dinosaur, but also how to calm himself when in a disagreement with his big brother (“Go away and count to 10, and if it’s really that bad, count to 100!”) Nicholas and Andrew frequently discuss schoolwork and making friends, and Nicholas knows he can rely on Andrew to help him figure out how to solve problems. Nicholas said that Andrew is “kinda like family” and that Andrew has shown him stuff that he didn’t even know about. Nicholas thinks that based on what he learned from Andrew, he is now a better big brother to his little 3 year-old sibling and can teach him lots of things too.

Andrew is also pleased with Nicholas’ positive attitude on their activities and life in general, remarking that “No matter what we’re doing, we’ll have a great time, and Nicholas has learned that if we can’t always do everything he wants, we can do something else that will be fun.” He has seen growth in Nicholas over the last two years; Nicholas has grown in self-confidence so that he is more likely now to offer an opinion and socialize, and is always ready to try something new. Sadly, their time together is coming to an end as Andrew is moving to Chicago in May 2015. The two plan to stay in touch through letters and calls, and both intend to rematch in the hopes of finding another very successful relationship.

To learn more about Big Brothers Big Sisters,

please call 966.4366 or visit our website

Ella's Adoption story

Our Journey to Ella


Ella&siblingsOur journey to Ella began almost 20 years ago and thousands of miles away from home. In 1995, while in Guatemala on a medical mission trip with my mom, the Lord began to plant a seed in my heart for adoption. Two years later while visiting an orphanage in Honduras, He stirred a deep love in my heart for these precious children, as well as one that would one day call me mommy. All during high school and college, the desire to adopt never went away. During my junior year in college, I met Kyle, the man I would one day marry. While we were dating, I told him of my desire to adopt one day. At that time, he had never considered adoption, but expressed that he would like to have biological children before considering adoption.

We were soon married in August of 2004. On our second anniversary, we found out we were pregnant with our first child. During the spring of 2007, our son Jackson was born and we were elated to be parents! Just a few months after Jackson was born, we found out we were expecting again. When Jackson was fourteen months old, our sweet daughter, Avery, entered this world. God had truly blessed our family! Even though our days and nights were busy with parenting two young children, the desire for adoption still laid heavy on my heart. Many nights I spent praying, asking God to show me His plan for our lives and His timing in regards to adoption. I knew that God would begin to impress it upon Kyle’s heart in His perfect timing as well. One night soon after our daughter’s first birthday, the topic of adoption came up as Kyle and I sat and talked. Even though I had spent many months diligently praying about it and felt sure in God’s calling for our lives, God clearly revealed to me in that moment the work he had been doing in Kyle’s heart as well. As I listened to Kyle talk about the verses found in 1 Timothy 5:1-16 and Psalm 127:3-5, he told me that he knew this was God’s will for our family and God would bless our desire to adopt.

For the next 18 months, Kyle and I spent time researching domestic and international adoption options. We attended informational classes through the DHS foster to adopt program, as well as sessions with several adoption agencies that offered domestic and international programs. We felt very overwhelmed at times with so many important decisions to make in beginning the process, but God was always faithful in revealing His plan. After many referrals from other adoptive families and meeting the wonderful team of people in TX, we were excited to finally begin our adoption journey with the help of The Gladney Center for Adoption. We began looking into the international programs that Gladney offered and while our initial interest was in Central America (since that is where our story began!), God made it clear as He began to develop a love in our hearts for the people of Ethiopia.

The fall and winter months of 2010 were spent gathering paperwork, completing homestudy visits, background checks and immigration forms just to name a few. With all the steps and requirements involved in international adoption, we were so thankful for our amazing friends at Gladney who were there to hold our hand and help us every step of the way. After five months of working diligently on gathering information for our dossier, it was complete and we were officially added to the Ethiopia waitlist! At that time, the current wait to be matched with a child was about 9 months. Since we were open to adopting a child of either gender and possibly even a sibling group, we were excited about soon finding out who would join our family.

Soon after being added to the waitlist, we received news that changes would soon be made in the processing of adoptions within the country of Ethiopia. At that time, we did not know what this news meant or how much our patience AND faith would be tested in the years to come. Although the waiting was hard and we longed for the day we would meet our child, we knew that God had brought us to this point and he would continue to be faithful. The months of waiting soon turned into years. As our children grew older, they became more and more anxious as they would ask how much longer until our brother or sister comes home.   Every year as we updated our paperwork and completed another homestudy, we wondered if this would be the year.

One Monday morning in the spring of 2014, we were completing our normal weekday routine of getting the kids off to school and then heading into work. We had no idea that this was the day our lives would be changed forever. That afternoon, our eyes were filled with tears of joy as we stared at the pictures and listened to our caseworker tell us of the precious two year old little girl that would soon join our family! Our next few weeks went by quickly as we shared our exciting news with friends and family and began gathering paperwork and preparing to bring our new daughter home.

Every month, we would receive new pictures of her and updates on how she was doing. With every picture we received, we fell more and more in love this amazing little girl. It was such a joyful time as we watched Jackson and Avery prepare for their little sister’s arrival by getting all her books arranged just right on her bookshelf and setting out all her little pairs of shoes so they were ready to wear when she arrived home.

On July 11th as we celebrated our daughter Avery’s 6th birthday, she received her only birthday wish – our case was cleared, we had been assigned a court date, and would leave in two weeks to meet our newest little family member!   The next two weeks went by quickly and soon we were kissing our kiddos goodbye and boarding the 14 hour direct flight from D.C. to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Just 24 hours after arriving in Ethiopia, it was time to meet that little girl that our stole our hearts from day one. We were anxious, nervous, and trying to soak in all that was about to happen. As we walked into the room where she was, I couldn’t hold back the tears as I laid eyes on the child I had spent so many years praying for. That afternoon, we had so many amazing moments with our sweet girl that we will never forget. We spent the next few days traveling the countryside in Ethiopia and playing with all the children in the orphanage. On July 31st, after attending our court appointment, the judge informed us that our case was cleared and she was officially our daughter. The next day, it was very hard to say goodbye to her as we traveled back home and waited on the US Embassy to issue her visa. Just a few weeks later, we were cleared to travel back to Ethiopia to bring our daughter home.

On August 28th, 2014, almost four years after we began the adoption process with Gladney, we received a very special gift as we celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary – the U.S. Embassy issued her visa and we were ready to take our girl home to Arkansas! We were blown away when we arrived to XNA as she was welcomed with so much love by our friends and family who had come to meet her.

As we celebrate “Adoption Awareness Month” during November, we are reminded of the many blessings that have come through our adoption. The journey to our sweet Ella Kate is one filled with God’s faithfulness, grace, and unconditional love – a precious life for which we will forever be grateful.

November 2014 Holiday Gifts & Events Guide

The month of November is a time of remembering all we have to be thankful for. Unfortunately it’s easy to get so busy with life and miss out on simple joys that surround us everyday. Our hearts are especially tendered as we share with you this beautiful cover story of Ella Kate’s adoption. November is also National Adoption Month so Ella Kate being featured is a perfect way to help raise awareness for children in need of adoption. We hope it encourages you to remain steadfast to your calling & count each moment as a gift. Special thanks to Emily for sharing her story & to Farmland Adventures in Springdale for allowing us to use their location for the photoshoot!

Speaking of holidays, this Holiday Gifts & Events Issue is filled with the best gift ideas & holiday events. Maybe you have a Lego enthusiast, an aspiring artist or thespian, or a sports fan. Or maybe your girly girl only dreams of the latest fashion or dance lessons. No matter what, you’re sure to find unique gifts they’ll love within these pages. Remember too to plan time for the special events in NWA during this season.

As always, we are grateful for our advertisers & readers & we wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving!!


October Birthday Bash Issue 2014

It’s OUR 12th BIRTHDAY & what better way to celebrate than by bringing you our October Birthday Bash Issue? Within these pages you’ll find everything you need to plan & throw the best birthday bash ever for your kids! The birthday ads begin on page 7 with the quick-reference resource guide on pages 46-54. Several of these great businesses are offering discounts on birthday parties – Hopes & Dreams Gymnastics, The Whole Creative Process, iNFiNiTi, Mid-America Karate Academy, The Purple Lime, Fast Lane Entertainment & Modern Mission. Please be sure to tell them you heard about them from Kid’s Directory!

Are you looking for family-fun fall activities? Maybe you want to spend time outdoors or do some shopping. Or with Halloween approaching, you may be hoping to find activities that are less scary for your little ones. Here are just a few ideas that are sure to delight & help make memories!

  • Farmland Adventures open until November 1
  • McGarrah Farms Pumpkin Patch open until November 2
  • Tinkerfest sponsored by Amazeum at Old High Middle School, October 4
  • American Girl Fashion Show at Arts Center of the Ozarks, October 4-5
  • Rhea Lana’s, October 8-11 in Siloam Springs & October 19-25 in Springdale
  • Halloween Carnival at NWA Mercy Family YMCA, October 9
  • Hands Full Consignment Sale at Trinity Fellowship Church, Fayetteville, Oct 10-11
  • Game Day Camp at Brick by Brick, October 11
  • Operation Christmas Child Family Fun Fest at Arvest Ballpark, October 12
  • Champions for Kids Simple Giving Project, October 13-27
  • House on Haunted Hill at Arts Live Theatre, October 16-19
  • Ozark Regional Arts & Crafts Fair, October 16-18 (3 locations)
  • Fall Craft Fair at Christ the King Lutheran Church, October 18
  • The Witches at Trike Theatre, October 23-26
  • Fall Festival at The Little Gym of Rogers, October 24
  • Halloween Event at Little Giggles, October 29
  • FREE Kid’s Smoothie for kids in costume at participating Tropical Smoothie Cafe, October 31
  • Mall-O-Ween at Northwest Arkansas Mall, October 31
  • NWA Boutique Show, November 7-8

Have a safe, fun Halloween with your little monsters! We’d love to have you share your kids’ costume pics on our Facebook page!

September Healthy Families Issue 2014 Sponsored by MANA Medical Associates

The first day of FALL is September 23rd!! Anyone else counting down the days until then?! September is my favorite month, not because of football (gasp!) but because I love to see the leaves change color & enjoy the coolness of the weather. It’s also the month I celebrate my wedding anniversary so it holds precious memories for me. I confess I’m not a health nut but I do want to enjoy lots of years with my man & my kids so this Healthy Families Issue challenges me to be more proactive with my health. I hope it does the same for you! You can find these ads starting on page 8 with the quick-reference guide feature on pages 48-57.

We are honored once again to have MANA Medical Associates sponsor this issue! MANA’s mission is to improve quality of life by providing compassionate, comprehensive, quality healthcare. With over ​50 years of experience & over ​80 physicians & providers including family medicine, pediatricians, internal medicine & specialists, you’re sure to find ​excellent care for your ​family’s ​medical needs. ​ Learn more about MANA at You can find their ads this month on pages 8-10.

MANA also sponsored our September Cover Kid Contest. It’s an absolute blast for us every year reading the kids’ responses! This year we asked, “What fun things do you do with your family to stay healthy?” Our adorable winner responded, “we go wimming!” We love “kid-isms”! Oliver is active in other sports but has excelled at swimming this year as a 2 year old. Way to go Oliver!!

I can’t close out this letter without saying a HUGE THANK YOU to our loyal advertisers & readers! I know I can speak for our entire staff when I say it’s our pleasure to bring you this resource guide every month. Our goal is to provide the highest quality family resource & be the most valuable connection between our advertisers & readers. Please remember to always tell our advertisers you saw them in Kid’s Directory!

Happy Fall Y’all!​

August 2014 10th Annual Back-to-School Issue sponsored by Once Upon a Child

As I write this letter, on my desk sits three school supply lists for my kids. A somber reminder that summer will be over too soon & our kids will be starting a new school year. This time of year always brings mixed emotions at our house, probably much like your own, as we waiver between excitement & anxiety. With school-aged children of our own, the staff at Kid’s Directory understands how this experience can feel overwhelming. Our hope is that this 10th Annual Back-to-School Issue will serve as a valuable tool to help you navigate through the ups & downs of sending your kids off to school. This issue is jam-packed with resources for preschools, private schools, after-school care & activities (gymnastics, dance, art, drama, martial arts, swimming, technology, music, tutoring & more), back-to-school check-ups & physicals & of course, school supplies & clothing. You can find these back-to-school ads on pages 8-46 with a special quick-reference guide feature on pages 48-57. Many advertisers are providing discounts when you mention you saw their ad in Kid’s Directory. We offer our special thanks to Once Upon a Child of Fayetteville & Rogers for sponsoring this issue & for providing the clothes for our cover kids! Be sure to shop their stores for your kids’ back-to-school clothes where you can find name brand clothing at a fraction of the cost! We also thank our cover models, Allison & Caleb Blue. You guys rock!

Hear what our advertisers are saying about Kid’s Directory!
Northwest Arkansas TCBY has been advertising with Kid’s Directory since we opened our store over 3 years ago.  The Kid’s Directory team has been fantastic to work with, and our advertisement in Kid’s Directory has consistently given us one of the best returns on investment of any of our print advertising.
Jared Greer, Owner 
I began advertising with Kid’s Directory when I started my dance studio ten years ago. It has helped me build my business and connect with great families all over NWA. I would definitely recommend them for all of your advertising needs! 
Julie Booher, Owner 
Be watching for these upcoming issues!
September Healthy Families
October Birthday Bash
November Holiday Gifts & Events
December Holiday Gifts & Events

July 2014 Moms-in-Business Guide

Happy 4th of July! It’s one of my favorite holidays. I love watching fireworks with my family & friends & thinking how privileged we are to live in America. If you’re looking for spectacular fireworks’ displays, there’s certainly no shortage in NWA. Visit our calendar online at or on pages 28-29 of this issue to find ones closest to you. In honor of our nation’s celebration, we thought it would be fun to share a few interesting facts & kids’ jokes related to this great day.

  • John Hancock was the only person to sign the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. The other 55 signers did not sign it until August 2nd or even later.
  • Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be the national animal but was outvoted when John Adams & Thomas Jefferson chose the bald eagle.
  • Over an estimated 150 million hot dogs will be consumed on the 4th of July.
  • Calvin Coolidge is the only U.S. president born on the 4th of July. He was born in 1872.
  • Q .Why did the duck say bang? 
  • A: Because he was a firequacker
  • Q: What’s the difference between a duck and George Washington?
  • A: One has a bill on his face, and the other has his face on a bill
  • Q: What was George Washington’s favorite tree?
  • A: The infantry
We are also excited to bring you this month a brand new featured guide…the Mom-Preneur Guide aka Moms in Business Guide! Found on pages 32-35, these are home-based or small businesses who offer products & services usually not found at your local stores. Entrepreneurship is one of the things that sets apart our country & we are honored to help promote these dedicated entrepreneurs. Help show your support for local businesses like these by shopping their “stores” & letting them know you saw them in Kid’s Directory. Thank you to Portia Bowen & MiKael Hassebrock for allowing us to feature your new business, Freckles & Sunshine, on our cover. MiKael & her sweet girls, Lily & Reese were a joy to photograph! You can find their mobile boutique this month at First Friday on the Bentonville Square.
Remember that many summer camps continue through the first part of August. It’s not too late for your kids to try a new sport, hone their art skills or make new friends at day camp. There’s still plenty of summer left so get out there & enjoy as much as you can with your family!

June 2014-Happy Father's Day

Hooray for SUMMER! Kids out of school, vacations, playing & exploring outside, camps, longer days…these are the things we love & welcome about summer. And if you wonder what you can possibly do with so much free time, you’ve picked up the perfect family resource to keep your kids active & busy. Summer camps & programs are featured on pages 7-24. Our community calendar on pages 28-29 also includes many free activities for the entire family!

We also take time this month to say thank you dads! It’s a special Father’s Day for our family as I get the privilege of featuring my kids with their dad on the cover. Since I began working for Kid’s Directory of NWA in 2011, my oldest has requested she be included on the cover. I couldn’t be happier that this cover became available for me to honor the best dad I know. He works hard but always makes his family his priority. I love you, Chad. We hope you’ll let the dads in your family know how much they’re loved & appreciated this Father’s Day.

Be watching for these upcoming issues:
July Mom-Preneur
August Back-to-School
September Healthy Families
October Birthday Bash
November Holiday Gifts & Events
December Holiday Gifts & Events