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June 2016 Cover Kid Contest Winner

Summer is officially HERE!!!! Not because the calendar says so but because our kids are out of school. Some of you may already have your summer completely planned but then there are those of you like me who have plenty of gaps in between camps and trips. Too much time on our hands is the only thought running through my mind! The comforting comes in knowing there are more opportunities in our area than we can do in just a few months. So I’m keeping this issue on hand as I look for spontaneous outings with my kids and hope you’ll do the same. Sometimes those end up being the most memorable anyway.

Here are a few other fun and free ideas:

  • plan family game nights (board games or make up your own ie minute to win it, scavenger hunt)
  • play water wars
  • visit the library or park
  • make an obstacle course (think Ninja Warrior or Summer Olympics)
  • camp in your backyard or living room
  • host a karaoke or dance party
  • color your entire driveway with sidewalk chalk
  • visit local farms or farmer’s markets
  • make puppet shadows and catch fireflies
  • volunteer at charities

At the NWA Boutique Show, we hosted a 2016 Cover Kid Contest and we’re happy to show off our winners on this month’s cover! Channing, Collins and Carrington are some sweet sisters who also happen to be super adorable. We enjoyed our time with them and thank their mom for entering her precious girls and Amber Lanning once again for her photography magic.

We never want to overlook one of our favorite super heroes  – our dads. Being a dad is no doubt a tall order and I feel certain it’s one of the reasons God gave men broad shoulders. You have much to bear. Your families depend on you for more than bringing home a paycheck. They mostly need your unconditional love and undivided attention. No wonder you’re tired and overwhelmed. But, please remember how much we love you and we are especially thankful we get to celebrate you this month!

Sadly, summer will be over too soon and we’ll have to switch gears again. What a change the fall brings. Breathe a little easier knowing we’re walking this journey with you and work to help ease fears and frustrations. Be watching for our August Back-to-School Guide which serves as a perfect resource for all your back-to-school needs (supplies, extra-curricular activities, clothing, check ups, etc).

Happy Summer!

June 2015 Cover Kid Contest Winner

Seven years ago last month, we moved to our current house. One funny thing that sticks in my mind from our first summer here was how often I heard the buzzing sound of lawn mowers. Nearly every day–morning, noon & night. Now it doesn’t feel like summer until I hear that familiar sound & smell freshly cut grass. Every year, I seem to appreciate more all that summer brings like having my kids home, taking a break from routines, enjoying longer days. Makes life feel simpler.

We think summer is an important time for kids too. That’s why we continue to spotlight camps, programs & activities offered in this issue. It may feel overwhelming to choose but you can try one or two each year. It doesn’t all have to be done in one summer. Look for more information about these advertisers on pages 8-25.

Our June Cover Kid Contest Winner is Rodrigo Carmona! He’s the 21 month old son of Joaquín Carmona & María Peña of Fayetteville. He may be too little to play baseball now but he has a pretty mean throwing arm so pitching may be in his future! Thank you, María, for entering him in our contest. You have a beautiful family!

I close this letter with a heart-warming story of two little girls, a simple lemonade stand, an adoption story & the non-profit organization that brought them all together. Harper Hoyle (4 yrs), the daughter of our very own Cat Hoyle & her friend, Ember Crawford (3 yrs), granddaughter of Patricia Yatsko (a 20 yr volunteer at Loving Choices), decided they wanted to support Loving Choices during their Baby Bottle Campaign that runs from Mother’s Day to Father’s Day. But could two preschool children really make a difference by selling lemonade?

Then there’s Holly Hook. She serves on the board for Loving Choices & along with her husband, Todd, has experienced the joy of adoption. Jacoby became their son when the birth mom who came to Loving Choices couldn’t care for him. Holly says, “I know first hand that there are babies that can be saved and if the birth mom is not able to take care of the baby, then adoption can become an option. My husband & I have been blessed to have adopted our sweet Jacoby. Volunteering of my time to Loving Choices is a small way to give back to the organization that truly gives life.”

So how do these stories collide? At the simple lemonade stand. When Holly heard about it, she wanted to show her support & share her story with these little girls of why their efforts matter. What a perfect way for them to see they’re not too young to impact lives. In one afternoon, they got to meet real people changed by Loving Choices & raised $300 to help continue their work of serving women experiencing unplanned pregnancies! I couldn’t keep myself from sharing this story & hope it encourages you to consider ways you too can become involved.

Loving Choices serves hundreds of women each year with free & confidential services that includes help with pregnancy & other reproductive health issues including pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, STD testing & abortion information. Learn more at www.lovingchoices.org.

Don’t worry dads. You are NEVER forgotten. We shared about hard-working mommas last month but there’s usually a strong man behind them supporting their dreams. We are thankful for all the dads out that see themselves as co-parents & are actively involved in their kids’ lives. We wish you the happiest of all Father’s Days!