Fort Smith Arkansas

5 Gift Ideas for Teacher Appreciation Day Written by a Teacher

We decided to reach out and ask a local high school teacher what teachers really want for teacher appreciation day! As amazing as these gifts are, we think that teachers should be celebrated every day of the year. So if you missed teacher appreciation day this year, don't worry! I'm sure they won't mind a belated gift just to let you know that you are thankful for their role in your children's life and future! 

gift ideas for teachers
  1. Classroom supplies - We buy things throughout the year for our classroom out of our own pockets. It would be great to re-stock at the end of the year! 

    Ideas for classroom supplies: Kleenex, pencils, pens, markers, paper clips, folders, post-it notes, small pencil sharpeners, tape, staplers, binders. Its all even better if it is cute or themed! For example: Eiffle Tower shaped scissors for the French teacher, or math-themed pencils.

  2. Treats - snacks or drinks to brighten our day!
  3. Pampering - gift cards for a manicure, pedicure or massage so we can relax!
  4. Meals - gift cards for meals out so we can enjoy a relaxing evening!
  5. Notes - handwritten notes or letters from students (even from high-schoolers!), parents or community members can go a long way in brightening a teachers day!
  6. A new car from Rath Auto Resources ;)

So there you have it! A list of gifts for teachers by a teacher!

I would like to introduce our guest contributor and teacher, Mrs. Courtney Hardcastle, "I have been a math teacher at Northside for 7 years. I have lived in Fort Smith all my life, except for my college years at Arkansas Tech in Russellville. I graduated from Southside and knew that I would want to come back and teach in Fort Smith. There are so many things I love about Northside: my great co-workers, my awesome students, and the general spirit of Northside. My students are full of personality. They are funny, witty, smart, and caring. There is never a dull moment with them!

Grading Papers Box for Teachers
Math sign for highschool teacher
Classroom Christmas tree with an ornament for each student!

Classroom Christmas tree with an ornament for each student!



Halloween 2016 in Fort Smith, Arkansas

Halloween 2016 Fort Smith Arkasnas

Are you looking for something fun to do this Halloween 2016 in the Fort Smith area? We have a list of things that are going on, a Netflix Halloween binge list and some great Halloween recipes! 

Originally serving as the residence for William Henry Harrison Clayton and his family, the Clayton House has also been home to several paranormal experiences. Director Martha Siler and her employees steer clear of a bedroom on the second floor, where the sounds of boots stomping and doors slamming have been heard. In Clayton’s study, Siler and her daughter have both seen an apparition of a woman with gray hair dressed in brown. A carpenter took some pictures while working on the house and when he got them back, a woman appeared. Paranormal investigators have captured several recordings in the house, including one of a cat meowing and of a man yelling an obscenity. When the public was invited on these investigations, a woman reported her hair being tugged and a man saw a person’s face. For more information, contact The Clayton House at 479-783-3000 or visit
Clayton House Fort Smith Haunted
Halloween Movie Playlist

Hocus Pocus. A classic movie released in 1993 that remains a staple Halloween tradition for many households. But for those who stay at home and like to do Halloween movie binges on Halloween night like us, you might be looking for some other great suggestions. We have you covered!  

Family Friendly Halloween Movies

  • Practical Magic (on Netflix)
  • The Addams Family (on Netflix)
  • E.T The Extra Terrestial (on Netflix)
  • Goosebumps (on Netflix)
  • Halloweentown 
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas
  • It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown
  • Beetlejuice
  • Casper
  • Ghostbusters

Scary/Thriller/Intesne and less family friendly Halloween movies

  • Children of the Corn (on Netflix)
  • Sleepy Hallow (on Netflix)
  • Dream House (on Netflix)
  • Cujo 
  • Room 237 (on Netflix)
  • Evil Dead
  • Rocky Horror Picture Show

Halloween Events in Fort Smith, Arkansas

  • Central Mall will have trick or treating for ages three to 12 years old from 6-8pm. 
  • Murder and Mayhem Haunted Trolley Tours will be available from 5:30-7:30pm. It will start at Fort Smith Museum of History with complimentary food drinks and ghost stories. Tickets are $35 and for 21 & up only.
  • Thriller performances by the Western Arkansas Ballet will occur on the streets from 7-8pm downtown Fort Smith in front of the Fort Smith Museum of History.
  • The Ward Haunted Warehouse at Fort Chaffee (on Ellis Road) will be open from 7:30-11:00pm. Tickets are $10 each.
  • Trunk or Treat by Bethel Lutheran Church at Euper Lane from 6:00-8:00pm. There will be a bounce house, popcorn and a drawing for a $50 gift card to Toys R Us.
  • Grand Avenue Baptist Church will host Fall Festival from 6:00-8:00pm. There will be inflatables, food, games and a costume contest. The theme for this year is 70's disco. 
  • The Haunted Prison at Fort Chaffee opens September 30. Haunted Prison tours are $15. Trail of Terror tours are $15. Combo ticket for one of each is $25. No age limit.
  • Silent Terror presented by Southpointe Church.
  • Heaven or Hell at Evangel Temple Assemble
  • Papa's Pub 80's themed Halloween Party
  • The Fort Smith Escape room is also hasting Games of Terror from October 7- November 5th.

Halloween Recipes

Halloween Greek Yogurt Fruit Dip & Spooky Fruit Snacks

by Kitchen Fun with My Three Sons

1 Large Container Greek Yogurt (unsweetened)
1/4 Cup of Nutella
2 Clementines
Pretzel Sticks
3 Bananas
1 Red Apple
Green Grapes
Mini & Mallobits Marshmallows
Peanut Butter
Black Edible Marker

To make the Spider Web Greek Yogurt Dip you want to scoop out the yogurt into a bowl reserving about 1/2 cup. Mix the 1/4 of Nutella with the yogurt. Spoon the reserved yogurt in a baggie then snip off the corner. Squeeze on a web on the top. We made the spider using raisins, but you could also do this with dark grapes as well….

To make the BOOnanas you want to peel then cut in half. Use raisins for the eyes & mouth attaching with peanut butter…so so easy!

To make the Monster Eye Balls you want to cut the grapes in half. Cut the mini marshmallows in half as well. Press the black edible marker in the middle of the marshmallow then place them on top of the grapes (they will stick)…

To make the Orange Pumpkins you want to cut a couple of clementines in half then press a piece of a pretzel stick in the top….

See how such simple fun food creations can be so cute!

You can see more of her fun Halloween Recipes here.

Little Frankies

by Growing UP Greens

To make them all you need is one jumbo size marshmallow for each Frankie, Green Grapes, a clear plastic cup (and lid or you can use press and seal paper instead) and a sharpie marker.

  • Fill the cup half way up with grapes
  • Cut marshmallow almost in half, open it up and stick it to the sides of the cup
    • The Marshmallow will be nice and sticky.
  • Add more grapes, lid up
  • Use your sharpie to draw eyeballs and funny or scary faces on the outside of the cup

Easy peasy!

They’re a perfect Halloween party snack, so make some for your kids this Halloween, trust me they’ll love them

***If serving to young kids, yes you should cut the grapes first, use your instincts**

- Source:


I’m pretty sure I was a roadrunner in a past life. Between my daily commute from Fayetteville and back and at least one solid road trip per year, I spend a ton of time on the road. Like a roadrunner, I love the American Southwest - the sandier and drier the better. I, too, like to go fast, although I prefer to do it behind the wheel instead of on foot. Heck, we even have the same haircut.

   Six months ago, right about when we got home from a 2,600-mile road trip to Breckenridge, CO by way of New Mexico, my wife and I started planning another trip. After three trips to New Mexico and Colorado, this would be the farthest West we had ever been together. We started saving for our trip to California. 

  As the departure date got closer, we debated whether we wanted to fly or save some money by driving. Based on what I heard from everyone I talked to, I would assume most people would have chosen to spend a little extra on a pair of round-trip plane tickets. More time on the beach, right? More importantly for most, less time in the car dying of boredom.

    My wife and I are weird, though. Since we first got married, some of the best times we have had have been in the car. Being “stuck in a car for 12 hours” on the way to Albuquerque has become the new drive to Dallas for us. It’s amazing what you can get used to if you do it enough. After five years, road trips are our new normal.

  Selfishly, I also just wanted to see more of the Southwest from behind the wheel. I had never driven through Arizona, Nevada or California. What’s more, flying is the absolute worst. I would rather cruise through the desert for hours on end in my car, constantly scanning for decent local radio stations, than spend two hours going through security and waiting in the terminal only to be in a cramped coach seat for a few more hours, landing in Vegas or wherever while my bag ends up in Portland. Plus, the road trip is almost always a more interesting story. A movie like “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” wouldn’t be half as funny if it were just called “Planes.”

   Add hating flying to that roadrunner thing.  We loaded up The Rallenium Falcon (my 2015 Subaru WRX) and headed out WAY too early on a Sunday morning. Still dark kinda early. “My favorite coffee place down the street isn’t open yet” early. “McDonald’s is the only place to stop for breakfast” early. “The low tire pressure light just came on less than a block from our house” early. “Okay I’ll stop here and put some air in the tire and, yep, there’s a nail right there in the tread and thankfully it’s a slow leak but Walmart is the only lube and tire shop open on Sunday and they don’t open until after eight o’clock” early. “Whatever I’m going to drink this gas station coffee and eat this McDonald’s breakfast burrito and we’ll hit Oklahoma City at about eight o’clock and we’ll get it patched then” early.

 It wouldn’t be an adventure if something didn’t happen to slow you down right out of the gate. What’s an adventure without adversity, right?

   We took a detour to Hollis, OK after we got the Falcon’s tire fixed and played an entertaining people watching game at the OKC Walmart. My parents grew up in Hollis, and my wife wanted to take a few photos of my father’s old  service station. Seeing Hollis for the first time in over ten years was bizarre. Nothing much had changed, but seeing the town as an adult was just different. We stopped at my grandfather’s old airplane hangar, now owned by my aunt and uncle, and took a few photos there, too. The 30-minute stop was the shortest trip I had ever made to the small town, but we had some serious ground to cover, so we gassed up and moved on West.

    Albuquerque has become kind of the gateway to road trips, largely because there is NOTHING to see and very little to do between home and there. Everything starts getting interesting once we get into New Mexico, and we have a couple of wonderful friends who put us up for the night in their downtown, loft-style apartment whenever we are passing through. A free bed and, often times, free dinner are very welcome after 12 hours of driving and eating nothing but fast food along the way.

  The drive through Arizona was mostly uneventful. The impressive parts people think of with all the cacti and red rock formations are further South than our I-40 route. That said, Flagstaff was a highlight of our trip. The surprise mountain town in the middle of the desert felt like home roughly 1,000 miles from our house. Shooting North toward Nevada was more interesting, seeing the glow of Las Vegas from many miles away in the night.

* * *

  After two nights in the time warp that is Las Vegas, we continued West toward California. My only regret about our stay was that I didn’t end up going back to the gift shop for the gold plastic Elvis sunglasses that had fake sideburns glued to the earpieces. We all make mistakes on these trips. That just gives us reasons to go back. 

   As we drove, we saw more desert. More mountains in the distance. Cruising along the outskirts of the Mojave desert with the windows down was a weird dream come true that included interesting terrain, skyrocketing gas prices, and my left arm turning at least two shades darker than the rest of my body. At one point, about 100 miles outside of Barstow, I’m almost certain I saw the ghost of Hunter S. Thompson - a bright red Cadillac Eldorado convertible, complete with giant fins, heading back toward Vegas and trying to make good time in Bat Country. We stopped for a few pictures, but made it quick and continued toward the coast.

   We stopped in Bakersfield to give The Rallenium Falcon a break and grab some dinner. After some looking online, Lengthwise Brewing Company seemed like an interesting place to cool our heels/wheels. Great food. Cool atmosphere. Really nice people. I recommend stopping there if you’re ever in the neighboorhood... you know... on the other side of the country. 


  An important side note: never underestimate the importance of a goodnight time radio DJ. “The Real Bruce Wayne” on 98.5 out of Bakersfield kept me going once it got dark and there was nothing else to keep me entertained. Nothing like hilariously offensive between-song commentary that, hopefully, the FCC wasn’t listening to. 

* * *

  Multiple time zone changes had me waking up earlier and earlier the further West we went. Even after having driven late into the previous night. waking up just after sunrise in Santa Cruz was refreshing. Our hotel was right on the beach, so sleeping with the sliding door cracked let in the sounds and smells of the ocean. I got up and made a cup of free coffee to enjoy on the balcony while my wife slept in.

   Before our adventure would end, we would get to drive up Highway 1 to San Francisco, bomb around Santa Cruz for a few days enjoying the mild weather and laid-back feel of the relatively small surf community, and head South toward Carmel. I even got to surprise my wife with a detour to Pasadena on our way home for lunch with a good friend of hers.

   As always, the time to drive home came too soon. Aside from hitting Flagstaff after midnight on that Sunday, and experiencing a drop in temperature from 90 degrees outside L.A. to 28 degrees there, the drive home was uneventful. We went to the end of the road and back, and I’m already itching to get back to running on the highway. 

California Road Trip - Rath Auto Resources
California Road Trip - Rath Auto Resources
Golden Gate Bridge - Rath Auto Resources
Oysters on the shell - Rath Auto Resources
San Fransisco Bay - Rath Auto Resources
California Road trip - Rath Auto Resources
dog surfing in santa cruz - rath auto resources
Santa Cruz - Rath Auto Resources
Hoover Dam - Rath Auto Resources
Verve Coffee Santa Cruz - Rath Auto Resources
Dream Inn Santa Cruz - Rath Auto Resources
San Fransisco Bay - Rath Auto Resources

Story: David Rath Photos: Kala Rath Photography

Barling Cruise Night with Rath Auto

We always have a great time at the Barling Cruise Night's and the 2016 Spring cruise was no different. There are always some of the most incredible hot rods out cruising around. Just as before, we had out tent set up and handed out free shirts and some other goodies! Most of our employees brought their kids out and a few have hot rods of their own they cruised as well.

With brakes locking, blinkers being faulty, door handles that don't work, no side mirrors and a couple times of flooding the engine....we knew we were officially in a hot rod. Larry recently purchased a Chevy C-10 and made a rat rod out of it. We literally got it back from the shop hours before the cruise night. There were a few things that still needed work so it was a risk and required having someone to follow us there and back! 

We took photos of nearly every single vehicle from the evening. If you would like to browse through the entire gallery and purchase prints or other print products, visit this link and share if you see anyone you know!  . There is a watermark on the images in the gallery, if you choose to print them, the watermark will not be printed on any of the images. Gallery link:

Here are a few of our favorite cars from the night!

Rath Auto Resources - Fort Smith Used Car Dealership

We love happy customers! They mean the world to us. It is so special when we receive their awesome reviews on Google and Facebook. They absolutely make our day and give us confidence that we are taking the right steps to earn your business and your trust. Here are some of our very loyal and proud customers! 

Rath Auto Resource is the best dealership my husband and I have ever done business with. The reasons are: they make all their customers feel like they are the most important things to them..they treat you like you matter and your not just a number on their sales board. Everyone from the owner to the service department take time to know you. Larry Rath and his staff are the best people to deal with. Want a NO pressure deal with respect and kindness with the best deals available Go to Rath Auto Resource. This is the only business that calls you after every service and thanks you for your business. Jerry Lovin was mine and my husbands salesman for our purchase of 2 vehicles. Jerry and all of Rath employees made our experince wonderful, would recommend all of them. Thank you Rath Auto Sales for making our total experience a wonderful one. Would not go to any other place other than Rath Auto Resource to buy a vehicle or to have our vehicles serviced.
— Doris Miller
Rath Auto Resources
The WHOLE staff at rath auto is husband and I were treated with the utmost respect as we came in and talked to micheal robertson. We told him of our situation and he and the staff went right to work getting us what we wanted AND at a price we could do. My husband and myself are SO pleased with the service and respect of Rath Auto. THANK YOU!!!.
— Lori Gregory
Rath Auto Resources
Anyone looking for a good used truck/car would be crazy not to come here. I came in two weeks ago and looked at a few trucks. I finally settled for one and we went through the whole process and it turns out I couldn’t get approve for the one I was wanting. Patrick the gentleman helping me did everything he could to get me approved. The numbers just didn’t line up. So I thanked him and left. I came in from work and I get a phone call from this gentleman and he tells me. I have some great news. My boss has decided the numbers were going to work. You are approved for the truck you was wanting. I went and signed paper and the staff was outstanding. It is the most professional dealership I’ve ever been to. Patrick was outstanding. He did everything he could to get me approved. He never once pressured me to try to get another truck. And outstanding business!
— Will Ford
Wow says it all,I walked into Rath Auto today(3/22/16) and walked out with a 2012 Ford Focus what great people work at Rath Auto I will never go anywhere else I think every sales person said Hi and how are you doing today I have never had such a good experience I am 49 years old and dealt with many car people but none like these guys if you are looking for a new car or truck please go visit the guys at Rath Auto
— cynthia miller
Rath Auto Resources

April 2016 Events in Fort Smith, Arkansas

Fort Smith Events

Why used car salesmen are the WORST

Why used car salesmen are the WORST


There are a handful of people in this world that us, other people, hate. Among these hated people include lawyers and used car salesmen. Since I am the “multi-media communications manager” no one else at the dealership will probably read this blog, so I am going tell you guys the deep dark secrets of why used car salesmen are really the worst kind of people and they shouldn’t be trusted.

Let’s just get to it here...some of them know the lyrics to Nickelback songs. We all know that anyone who can sings This Is How You Remind Me needs help.

I don’t know about all used car salesmen, but personally, ours drive cars of their own. This very obviously means they are biased to their own product. You really should trust people with an unbiased opinion. Try finding a dealership where the sales people commute to work via unicycles, segways or really anything else but a car.

They usually have families of their own.  They are the kind of people that come to work every single day and help the average Joe get into a new work truck, a sports car, or even a minivan so that they can feed their families and pay their own bills. Have you ever been around people that have families to provide for? They will do anything..literally anything to help pay bills. That is just irresponsible. I would recommend you find someone else that doesn’t have anything possibly relatable to you - like children, spouses, family, etc that they have to work for. Something where they are more responsible and won’t do whatever it takes to help you.

This is probably one that bothers me the most….they typically like dogs. I don’t just mean like the “Oh, I have a dog that sleeps in the backyard.” Kind of people, but they kind that are gushing over shelter dogs when we have live adoption events with the humane society. Dogs are needy. They constantly need your affection, pets, treats, etc. You can’t trust someone that is always needed by a dog. Find a used car salesperson that prefers less needy stuffed animals or something a little more manageable.

And here is the icing on the cake...while I can’t speak for people at other dealerships - at our dealership, our solution specialist actually enjoy their job. WHAT?! Yes, they actually enjoy their job. They are crazy brainwashed people who like helping people like me and you. They aren’t even on commission. They work on flippin’ salary and they like coming to work every day and have fun. They are always laughing, goofing around with each other and smiling. Something. Must. Be. Wrong. With. Them. No one loves work. But these guys do. I don’t know what Larry Rath is doing to them, but clearly it’s unhealthy. I encourage you to find a dealership where the people are miserable, rude and hate their careers. They are much more likely to be “normal.”




Healthy Snacks For Work - Wellness Wednesday

Battling the mid morning and mid day hunger at work is painful when you are trying to be healthy. Sometimes we want the bag of Cheetos or Honeybun because we are hungry, others because we are bored, we are tempted because we are constantly walking right in front of them, or even because we are stressed. 

One of the easiest ways to help you stay on track and manage your hunger with good habits is to bring your own snacks to work. Now I know that is a lot easier said than done, but once you get in the routine of a healthy snack, it will become a lot easier. 

Tip: Count the ingredients in your snacks...not the calories. 

Trail Mix

Find prepackaged trail mix with plenty of nutrient rich nuts ( like almonds) or make your own at home! "Almonds are a fantastic source of antioxidants. Antioxidants help to protect against oxidative stress, which can damage molecules in cells and contribute to aging and diseases like cancer" - Source

String Cheese

Opt for an organic brand of some string cheese. It has 80 calories, 6 grams of fat, 0 grams of carbs, and 7 grams of protein. A bag of Cheetos has approximately 150 calories, 10 grams of fat, 13 grams of carbs, and 2 grams of protein.

Fresh {Organic} Fruit

Fruits are the best snacks for anyone who wants to eat healthy, real food full of natural carbohydrates and feel full without consuming empty calories. Fruits provide us with the best form of natural sugars, so they are good for a snack if you are feeling low on energy or if you are an active person, Source

Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese is a great high protein and low calorie snack. It is rich in flavor and a great base to add some fresh fruit to as well. (Peaches, bananas, berries are my favorites!). One serving of cottage cheese has 80 calories, 2 grams of fat, 3 grams of carbs and 13 grams of protein. 

Fresh Vegetables & Hummus

Hummus can be used as a spread or as a dip with vegetables or pita chips. Hummus is a mediterranean spread made by combining chickpeas, olive oil, lemon, garlic and a sesame paste called tahini. These ingredients each contain health-promoting nutrients and when combined, form a dish packed with many health benefits. - source

Boiled Eggs

Hard boiled eggs make a quick snack if you are in a hurry or can be used to sneak protein into your salad at lunch. Adding hard-boiled eggs to your diet adds good fats to your body to keep your heart healthy. Hard-boiled eggs also pack important vitamins to help protect your eyes and keep your bones strong. You get about 45 international units of Vitamin D from one large hard-boiled egg. - source

Greek or Dairy Free Yogurt

Yogurt is another simple and nutritious way to curb your afternoon cravings. Try adding some fruit or granola to your yogurt to kick it up a notch for added flavor and nutrition. 

Protein Shake

Protein shakes are easily found in convenience stores pre-made or can be made on the go in a matter of seconds at your office. They provide low calorie and high protein nutrients for your body. 



March Events in Fort Smith, Arkansas