What an amazing journey I had this past year! I was given the honor to teach a group of Hispanic parents in the Springdale Family Literacy Program. Monday-Thursday these women (and one gentleman) showed up to my little cottage outside an elementary school with one motivation…providing a better life for their families.
Growing up in rural Arkansas, I spent a good amount of time hiking through the woods around my home with my Dad. He taught me to respect the land and how to read the various signs of nature. He taught me to recognize different plants, trees, and animals. When I moved to Northwest Arkansas, I got sucked into enjoying the commercial amenities that this more urban setting offered.
As my kids came along, it became very apparent how little their knowledge of nature was. They were afraid of all insects! So my husband and I made an intentional effort to combat this by taking regular nature hikes as a family. Some are day long planned events while others are impromptu diversions meant to burn off some energy.
A couple weekends ago I was given a gift. A gift of rest. A gift of time to reflect. A gift of having my cup filled. A gift of seeing the fruits of a ministry that I love!
I was having coffee one day with my sweet friend, Becky Shaffer, a few weeks ago when she invited me to a weekend retreat. She is the director of a beautiful ministry in NWA called Saving Grace. Their mission is to provide life skills training, mentorship, and Godly healing for young women who age out of the foster system.
Just about every weekend someone e-mails me asking about tips for local day trips. So I decided to start blogging about those ideas. I have been working all summer to blog about just a few of the attractions we have available in Northwest Arkansas. As the blog grows, I will continue to add to this category to help you explore NWA to the fullest.
I wanted to create a way for you to be able to access these great ideas in a user friendly way.
I am so excited to announce the new Interactive Day Trip Map.
My sweet friend, Jamie Smith, is guest posting today. I met Jamie years ago at a scrapbooking crop night before I even knew what a blog was. We have became friends through our local bloggers’ meet-ups. She is truly a fascinating person!
A few weeks ago, I needed a free activity to keep my kids busy for an hour or so between errands. We dropped-in at the Rogers Historical Museum. This museum is fantastic for historians of all ages.
My kids had so much fun with all the hands-on activities. A room called “The Attic” was set up as a turn of the century home. The kids got to play house. They explored kitchen appliances and common household tools. It was entertaining for me to watch them infer the uses of these tools.
A few weeks ago, I told you about our day trip to Har-Ber Village and the amazing American Dream story of Harvey and Bernice Jones. The short version is that Mr. Jones started a delivery business at the age of 18 with a wagon and a mule team. Over the course of a lifetime, he built the largest trucking company in the country, The Jones Truck Line. (You can read more of that story here.)
The Joneses loved Northwest Arkansas and sought ways to give back to their community. Their lives’ work was to “to serve families, strengthen community and glorify God.”
One of their most generous gifts was The Jones Center for Families.
Our favorite destination for a quick getaway without the kids is Eureka Springs, AR. About every six to eight weeks, we head over for a day trip as a family, but it is so much fun to stay a few days just the two of us. This month we are celebrating nine years of marriage. We will be heading over to a cabin in the woods just outside of Eureka for our anniversary trip.