Archive for May, 2018

5 Inspiring Travel Books for Kids

Wednesday, May 30th, 2018

Summer break is officially here. No more planning school lunches or carpool schedules. Phew. The only thing we’re planning now is our family vacation. Yippee!

Whether you’re headed across town for a staycation or across the ocean for an overseas adventure, we think travel books for kids are the perfect way to get the whole family excited to hit the road. (more…)

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Tips to Make Summer Reading Fun

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2018

Summer Reading

I love summer. Long, lazy days, warmer weather, sun-kissed everything. Life slows down a bit for our family allowing us more time to connect.

Our kids take a break from academic learning and instead learn through play and other real-life scenarios.

We take bike rides. We catch bugs. And we read–not because the teacher said so, but entirely for fun. (more…)

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What I’ve Learned from My Daughter with Food Allergies

Wednesday, May 16th, 2018

Soccer team picture

May 13-19 is Food Allergy Awareness Week. Chances are that if you have children, then you know someone with a food allergy.

Researchers estimate that up to 15 million Americans have food allergies, including 6 million children under age 18. That’s 1 in 13 children, or roughly two in every classroom.

Here, contributing writer Danielle Murphy shares a glimpse into the life of her daughter with food allergies:

I have three kids and they’re each smart, loving and wonderfully unique. But there’s just something about my middle daughter. (more…)

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How Getting a Puppy is Like Being a New Mom Again

Sunday, May 13th, 2018

Puppy love

I feel like a new mom all over again.

Puppyhood is stopping me in my tracks. 

As I write this, our new puppy is crying in the play pen. She can see me typing away, but she can’t get out to be near me. And this, I’m learning, is just one of many ways a new puppy is like having a baby. (more…)

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I Said Yes to the Puppy

Wednesday, May 9th, 2018

Puppy Announcement

“Do you have to go potty?” “Good job going poopy!”

These are phrases I haven’t uttered in five years. I thought I was done raising little ones.

Then we got a puppy. (more…)

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Project OpenBook Book Drop Featured in the News

Friday, May 4th, 2018

Reading Yeti in My Freezer

Our most recent book drop in Bellevue Public Schools was featured on the news! The Omaha World-Herald covered the story and Channel 3 featured it.

Click link below for full story.

http://studio.omaha.com/Omaha-couple-giving-back-in-books-33769454?playlistId=16295

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Benefits Abound When Kids Garden

Thursday, May 3rd, 2018

Garden varieties

Spring is FINALLY upon us. And it’s officially garden season! Just like with reading, gardening with your kids offers benefits aplenty.

Studies show that when kids garden, it can positively impact their health, mind and spirit.

(more…)

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Omaha World-Herald Article: An Experiment in Doing Good

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2018

500 books will be given to Bellevue students as part of Omaha company’s ‘experiment in doing good’

An Experiment in Doing Good

Article written by Micah Mertes / Omaha World-Herald staff writer

April 28, 2018

It started with a single book for a single child. Then the books and the children multiplied.

More than a decade back, Omahans Phil and Stacey Haussler were expecting their first child (they now have three), and they wanted to give him something special, something one-of-a-kind.

Phil, a writer, ended up making him a personalized storybook.

The Hausslers — along with two other dads: Ken Wiebke of Overland Park, Kansas, and Brad Sneed, of Prairie Village, Kansas — parlayed this idea into a business. In 2009, they created MarbleSpark, which makes and sells personalized children’s books. In MarbleSpark books, kids become the stars of their own stories.

“We’re all about creating those magical moments with kids and parents,” Stacey said. “When a child reads a story that’s about them, they realize that there’s some magic there.”

At the same time, the company wanted to find a way to give back to the community, to take part in what Phil called “an experiment in doing good.”

They launched a side endeavor called Project OpenBook.

“Our goal was to get books into the hands of kids that need them the most,” Stacey said, “that don’t have access to them at home.”

Stacey, citing a U.S. Department of Education statistic, said that 60 percent of children in poverty don’t have a single age-appropriate book in their homes. Project OpenBook aims to lower that number.

“We wanted to give a book away to kids,” Stacey said. But they wanted to make it just the right book — an “awesome” book.

They decided to make it from scratch. They solicited the help of writers and illustrators from across the country to contribute to what became “The Yeti in My Freezer,” a Shel Silverstein-esque children’s poetry book.

At the end of 2017, Project OpenBook printed and delivered 1,000 copies of the book to students through DIBS for Kids (DIBS stands for “Delivering Infinite Book Shelves”), a local nonprofit that aims to ensure that every student has a great book to read.

Now, a few months later, Project OpenBook is about to make its second book drop. On Monday, the organization will deliver 500 copies of “The Yeti in My Freezer” to students at two schools in Bellevue.

One of the reasons the group decided to do a kids’ poetry book, Stacey said, is that while reading is foundational in a child’s development, “it also needs to be fun. Kids need to be excited and enjoy what they’re reading. So we put together a compilation of funny kids’ poems.”

Currently, MarbleSpark is paying for the printing and shipping costs of Project OpenBook. But Stacey said that if they can get the permission from the contributors to sell “The Yeti in My Freezer,” the proceeds would go toward more book drops — more books for more kids from the company that started with a single child and a single book.

See full online article here.

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