The Friends of Central Arkansas Libraries (FOCAL) Used Book Sale is going on the road to three different Central Arkansas Library System (CALS) branch library locations in May.
Book sales will be held at the following branches:
Books from the Main Library Used Book Sale will be for sale at these branches 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today (May 17) and tomorrow (May 18).
Paperbacks are $.50 and hardbacks are $1. All categories of books will be available, including fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, children's, cookbooks, sports, travel and many more.
Other FOCAL branch sales will take place in September at Dee Brown Library, Nixon Library and Thompson Library, and in November at the Children's Library & Learning Center, McMath Library and Terry Library.
Funds from the book sales help CALS provide programs at branches and book club kits, as well as Summer Reading Club and special Saturday programming for children at the Main Library. For more information about the sales, call (501) 918-3000 or check out the website.
To volunteer at the FOCAL book sales, call (501) 918-3095 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check out Little Rock Family's top 10 events for family fun this week in central Arkansas. From The Greek Food Festival to the inaugural River Cities Dragon Boat Festival, there will be plenty to keep central Arkansas families entertained. Read on for more fun, family-friendly events.
Thursday, May 16
Beginners Fishing Clinic at CALS Children's Library & Learning Center -- All ages are invited to this fishing clinic taught by the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission. Attendees will learn the basics of nabbing a fish, where they can go to fish and more. The first 50 people who attend both the fishing clinic at the library and the Fishing Derby at War Memorial on May 18 will receive a voucher for a free fishing pole. 6 p.m. For info: CALS.org. FREE!
Friday, May 17
Children's Series: Night Hike at Garvan Woodland Gardens -- Are you brave enough to venture out into the nighttime forest? Join Garden Education Director Megan Bradshaw for this exclusive nighttime walk through the Gardens. We'll listen to the night sounds, learn about nocturnal animals, and test our night vision. We'll even try to call up our silent flying friend, Hooty the Owl. Children must be accompanied by a parent or other adult; adult chaperones are admitted free. Open to children ages 6-12. Advance registration required. 8-9:30 p.m. $12, adults free. For info: GarvanGardens.org.
Silver Moon Outdoor Movies Presents "Dark Knight Rises" at The Village at Hendrix in Conway -- The public is invited to bring a lawn chair, blanket, beanbag chair (whatever suits you), load up the kids and enjoy a night out under the stars to watch this Batman flick. $1 donations go to a local charity. For info: SilverMoonCinema.com.
Friday, May 17-Sunday, May 19
Arkansas Festival Ballet Presents The Adventures of Pinocchio at Arkansas Arts Center Children's Theatre -- See the classic story of a little wooden boy and his loving maker, performed by Arkansas Festival Ballet and presented by artistic director Rebecca M. Stalcup, in this full-length storybook ballet. Performances will be held 7:30 p.m May 17, 2 & 7:30 p.m. May 18, and 2 p.m. May 19. School performances will be held on May 16 and 17. Advance tickets $20, students and children $15. For info: ArkansasDance.org.
International Greek Food Festival at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church -- Treat your family to gyros, sweet baklava, calamari, dolmathes (stuffed grape leaves), hummus and more. Take a break from snacking to enjoy performances from dancers of all ages and disciplines, including flamenco, Greek, Irish, Indian, Middle Eastern and Russian. Then, take a trip to the kid’s area, complete with face-painting, games and rides. 11 a.m.-9 p.m. May 17, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. May 18, 11 a.m.-3 p.m May 19. For info: GreekFoodFest.com. Admission FREE!
Saturday, May 18
8th Annual Stueart Pennington Running of the Tubs in Downtown Hot Springs -- Take a trip to Spa City to watch this pandemonium on Bathhouse Row. Costumed teams (each racer must wear some sort of hat and strap on suspenders) load up in authentic bathtubs outfitted with wheels and trek down the street. During the race, teams must adhere to such quirky rules as "bathtub must be full of water at the start of the race and have at least 10 gallons of water left in the tub at the finish line" and "each team crossing the finish line must still have in its possession: the bar of soap, the bath mat, the loofah mitt and the bath towel." All entry fees are donated to the Downtown Merchants Christmas Tree Fund. 9 a.m. For info: HotSprings.org. Onlookers FREE!
9th Annual Buzz-B-Q at North Little Rock RV Park -- More than 100 cook teams will compete in "Pro Joe" and "Average Joe" divisions for their share of $5,000 in cash and prizes. Categories will include pork, ribs and chicken. A portion of the proceeds from the 2013 Buzz-B-Q Food and Music Festival will benefit Camp Sunshine, an annual four-day camp for pediatric burn survivors completely funded by The Arkansas Professional Firefighters. $10. 11 a.m.-7 p.m. For info: 1037TheBuzz.com.
River Cities Dragon Boat Festival at Victory Lake at Burns Park -- This inaugural event in Little Rock will introduce locals to the sport of dragon boat racing. Teams of 20 paddlers, a drummer and steerer race in authentic Hong Kong-style, 46-foot-long dragon boats. All ages, skill levels and physiques can paddle in this team sport. Team practices begin May 15-17, and race day will be May 18. Land activities include cultural festivities, music, food, and a kid's fun and learning area. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Children's Protection Center, which works to prevent child abuse, and protect and treat victims and their families. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. For info: RiverCities.RaceDragonBoats.com. Onlookers FREE!
Saturday, May 18-Sunday, May 19
Little Rock Film Festival Family Events -- Young cinema fans can attend Little Rock Film Fest’s family events to catch a screening of “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Roderick Rules” and meet actors from the movie. The stars of the film, Zachary Gordon and Robert Capron, will be on hand, along with Producer Brad Simpson, a Little Rock native. You have several events to choose from, including a screening and behind-the-scenes presentation at the Arkansas Repertory Theatre (10 a.m. May 18; $10), as well as a meet-and-greet with the actors at the Little Rock Zoo (included with general admission). Plus, all families are invited to the official Family Day at the Central Arkansas Library System Darragh Center, where little ones can mingle with critters from the zoo, sample popsicles and take part in fun activities (2-5 p.m. May 19; free). For info: LittleRockFilmFestival.org.
Sunday, May 19
Springfield Cardinals vs. Arkansas Travelers at Dickey-Stephens Park -- It's family day at the ballpark! $10 for the entire family when you bring your church bulletin. 2:10 p.m. For info: Travs.com.
North Little Rock's Wild River Country, 6820 Crystal Hill Rd., North Little Rock, is gearing up for its big opening day tomorrow (May 18) and they're excited to present a new and improved water park complete with refurbished and repainted slides with several additions, such as cabanas, a new mascot, family-fun nights and more.
Enjoy the park during its normal hours 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. Saturday.
Join DC from the KLAL 107.7 FM morning show from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. tomorrow (May 18) for some fun in the sun.
What's really great is that tomorrow is also Armed Forces Day, where all service members will be able to get in free with a valid ID or contract.
And Memorial Day weekend is coming up pretty soon. The park will be open from 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. Saturday (May 25), 12 p.m. - 8 p.m. Sunday (May 26) and from 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. Monday (May 27).
One-day admission passes are available and range from $14.99 to $29.99, as well as season passes, which are $49.99, down from $89.99. Get all of the prices here.
For more information, check out its new website here.
Confession: Having kids did not fix me. I was not somehow more whole, less botched-up, or more certain just because I had a kid. I had thought becoming a mother would be the magic solution; provide me with the missing piece. The hole in my life, in my heart, would finally be filled. I thought having a baby would result in all the stars aligning and my world finally making sense. I wouldn’t be restless anymore. I would feel satisfied, happy, and full of purpose. I put all my eggs into that basket; I trusted the arrival of a baby and the title of mother to do those things and more.
But what I found out was that, instead of it fixing me, I was still me, with all my holes and problems and questions—only now I was also exhausted and had a lot more laundry to do.
I was in my early twenties with a newborn baby, a husband, and a mortgage.
It wasn’t until then that the words “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed” (James 5:16) snapped into place in my heart. I made my first confession, waiting for a table at a burger joint. I confessed then to my friend, sitting on the stool beside me, that having a baby had not fixed me or my life. In fact, it had had quite the opposite effect.
I had spent several years up to that point obnoxiously and arrogantly forcing my opinions of child-bearing and rearing on others, including those in my church, whose children’s ministry I ran. Because I believed that being a mother was the most noble of callings, I could not imagine that it wouldn’t bandage and heal all the parts of me that felt fractured, unraveled, and wrong.
In those first few days at home with my sweet newborn boy, I would sit on the couch and stare at him in his bouncy seat, stunned at how I felt: exactly the same on the inside. Motherhood had failed to deliver wholeness to my heart in one swift move. It had delivered another layer of love, yes, I loved my son with my whole heart, but underneath there I was still: me, the same girl I had always been.
That blunt statement to a friend held perhaps the first most honest, humbling words I had said in my adult life up to that point. I didn’t say them to gain her sympathy. I said them because it was the confession of my heart. It was pure truth, and I was so sleep-deprived that pure, raw, unflattering truth was all I had to offer.
In that moment I confessed that my formula for happiness had not worked. And in that confession came forgiveness and healing. Forgiveness for myself, forgiveness from my self-righteous attitudes and words. Forgiveness for stubbornly putting my hope in something of earth instead of something of heaven.
Healing also came in the form of my friend’s reaction, this friend whose own story included struggles with infertility issues, thanking me for my honest confession. It helped her know that even if she were to have a child someday, it would not fix her. It wasn’t the miracle formula to fixing all the broken parts of her life either. She was released from the bondage that comes from chasing that which you are the most convinced will solve your problems and bind your wounds.
In that moment, through the spilling out of those words, I begin to understand how bringing out into the light the broken places and the failures and humble moments of raw truth should not diminish us in each other’s eyes, not if we are walking in Christ’s love. Instead, it should bring a sense of “Oh, you too? I thought I was the only one!”
Excerpted from "A Homemade Year:The Blessings of Cooking, Crafting, and Coming Together" by Jerusalem Jackson Greer. Used with permission of Paraclete Press.
For the month of May, Little Rock Family invited Arkansas mom bloggers to share their Mother's Day memories, stories and lessons. Read more about Jerusalem and her new book at her blog, JollyGoodeGal.com.
Cycling is a great way to get outdoors, get healthy and enjoy the gorgeous weather with the entire family. Mat Seelinger, owner of Spokes Little Rock, a premier bike shop in the heart of Little Rock, shares a few tips on how to start your journey off right.
1. Figure out where you're going to ride. Will your family hit the mountain trails or take it a little easier on paved streets and paths?
2. Pick a bike that fits. You'll especially want to pay attention to what younger riders are pedaling.
3. Get geared up. Make sure you and your family have all the necessary equipment you'll need on two wheels. Start with the helmet.
4. Take some test drives. You'll want to gauge the cycling skill of your youngsters – and yourself, if it's been awhile.
To go further into detail on these tips from Seelinger, and to get a complete list of the Rules of the Road, check out the May digital edtion of Little Rock Family by clicking here.
The annual International Greek Food Festival is starting tomorrow (May 17) and running through Sunday (May 19) at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, 1100 Napa Valley Drive, Little Rock.
Admission is free. Hours are 11 a.m.-9 p.m. tomorrow (May 17) and Saturday (May 18) and 11 - 3 p.m. Sunday.
The festival offers an intriguing medley of Greek, Armenian, Georgian, Romanian, Russian, Indian, Middle Eastern, English and American dishes menu favorites. A limited menu of mouth-watering cuisine -- Greek chicken dinner, gyros platter, baklava, pastry plates -- can be enjoyed at the festival, ordered online or picked up at a drive-through.
Visitors can enjoy music, dance and other cultural traditions.
The festival will include Old World Market, selling specialty foods such as falafel, Greek olive oil, hummus, dolmathes (stuffed grape leaves), cheeses and the popular secret salad dressing handmade -- Pete's Famous -- and bottled at the church. Frozen dinners to-go, homemade pastries, Russian collectibles, imported gift items from around Mediterranean will also be available.
A kids' area features face painting, a candy walk, a climbing wall, rides and grilled hot dogs.
Continuous entertainment includes Greek, Scottish, middle Eastern, Indian, Russian, flamenco and Irish dancers, cloggers and guitarists.
See the full entertainment schedule here.
Guided tours of Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church are scheduled. Everything takes place at the church, 1100 Napa Valley Drive, Little Rock. Admission, parking and trolley service are free.
To view a complete schedule click here or call (501) 221-5300.
We spend a lot of time cautioning our kids and teaching them the ways of the World Wide Web. The quickness and ease it takes to post something on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram makes it easy to forget that something put online should be considered in the public's view forever.
But while we educate our children on keeping their privacy and not revealing too much about themselves on the Internet, some times, it's the adults who need a brief review on secrecy.
Here are five tips to keep in mind when posting online about what's happening in your life, or more urgently, your kids' lives. Remember you are a parent and an adult. Etiquette plays a large part in this too. Do not use Facebook to blast your spouse, your ex or your kids. (Or anyone else for that matter)
To read more about what parents can do (and not do) online, click here to read the May digital edition of Little Rock Family.
Film buffs can include their families in the movie madness happening May 15-19 at the Little Rock Film Festival. Along with a stellar lineup of films for the grown-ups, the cinematic extravaganza continues to amp up offerings for family viewing. Don't miss out on these film screenings, workshops and fun activities:
Just for Kids
Youngsters can catch a screening of “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules” and meet actors from the movie at this year's festival. The stars of the film, Zachary Gordon and Robert Capron, will be on hand, along with Producer and Little Rock-native Brad Simpson, at a special screening and behind-the-scenes presentation on Saturday (10 a.m. May 18 at the Arkansas Repertory Theatre; $10).
The young film stars will also attend a meet-and-greet and autograph signing at the Little Rock Zoo (2 p.m. May 18; included with general admission).
Plus, all families are invited to the official Family Day at the Central Arkansas Library System Darragh Center, where little ones can mingle with critters from the zoo, sample popsicles and take part in fun activities (2-5 p.m. May 19; free).
Tweens and Teens
Older kids and teens might also enjoy several of the documentaries on view, including "Blood Brother," about an American man who travels to India to start over and finds a life at an orphanage for children living with HIV (3 p.m. May 16 at 610 Main; 2:15 p.m. May 17 at Heifer International). Or, University of Arkansas-bound students can learn about the city of Fayetteville in "Up Among the Hills," a flick narrated by former President Bill Clinton (1:20 p.m. May 16 at Historic Arkansas Museum; 2:35 p.m. May 19 at Cornerstone Pub).
Teens can also relate to the coming-of-age documentaries "Village at the End of the World" and "William and the Windmill." In "Village," a teenager in a remote area Greenland attempts to escape his tiny fishing town of 59 (12:45 p.m. May 16 at 610 Main St.; 11 a.m. May 17 at 610 Main St.). Likewise, "William," is the amazing story of a young man in Malawi who saves his family by building a power-generating windmill from junk parts, and now faces a bright, yet frightening future in the Western world (11:30 a.m. May 16 at Historic Arkansas Museum; 12:15 p.m. May 17 at Heifer International).
Aspiring young filmmakers can also take part in a full day of LRFFYouth! workshops on Wednesday (May 15), including classes on directing, the art of shortform and more. Kim Swink, a native Arkansan who now produces and directs programming for heavy-hitters like HBO, MTV, Comedy Central and the Sesame Workshop, is the keynote speaker. The day concludes with the LRFFYouth! Opening Night film, "Short Term 12," about a young supervisor at a foster-care facility for at-risk teens. (6:30 p.m. at ACT, 405 Main St.)
The teen offerings continue on Thursday (May 16) with the AETN Student Selects Youth Screening series, which will showcase films made by young Arkansans (9:30 a.m. at 610 Main St.). A luncheon and THEA Foundation Young Filmmaker Scholarship Award Ceremony will follow at 11:30 a.m.
For more info, visit LittleRockFilmFestival.org.