Archive for the 'Parenting' Category

The Shape of Your Story

Wednesday, February 27th, 2019

Did you know that many of the world’s greatest stories aren’t really all that original?

Revered author Willa Cather once said “There are only two or three human stories, and they go on repeating themselves as fiercely as if they had never been told before.” (Wait, what? You’ve never heard of Willa Cather?! Oh, well, you must not have grown up in Nebraska…)

Like Cather, famed American author Kurt Vonnegut believed stories shared a handful of ‘shapes.’ He gave a wonderful lecture about the “simple shape of stories,” where he gives us story-shapes that we keep telling over-and-over-and-over again. (more…)

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How to Create an Organized Reading Space for Kids

Wednesday, February 20th, 2019

reading space for kids

Red ones. Blue ones. Old ones. New ones. Our house is overflowing with kids’ books.

We decided to consult professional organizer Kacie Ferrazzo, owner of Get Organized Omaha, for some tips on creating an organized reading space for kids.

Ferrazzo specializes in home decluttering and enjoys working with her clients to help them get control of their home and create a more joyful, simplified personal space.

We’re hoping a more organized space will make those old books seem new again and reignite a love of reading.


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Grandparenting From Afar

Tuesday, February 12th, 2019

Grandparenting from Afar

*This article was written by Jerri Haussler, mother of Phil Haussler, MarbleSpark co-founder.*

When my two children were small, Dear Abby printed a letter in her well-respected advice column that I carried in my billfold for many years.

The gist of her advice for raising successful kids was to give them roots and give them wings.

I tried to follow that advice by encouraging my daughter and son to explore worldly adventures, as well as family connections.  At the time, I didn’t realize that would mean my grandchildren would never live close-by.  (more…)

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Sharing Our Love of Reading Aloud

Wednesday, January 30th, 2019

Reading Aloud

My husband and I have been reading aloud to our kids since they were in utero. Our love of books has made it an easy and fun activity.

As our kids have grown, we’ve continued to read aloud to them. Sharing a book together has been a special way to connect.

If you follow MarbleSpark happenings, you know about our literacy initiative, Project OpenBook, where we give away copies of our kids poetry book, The Yeti in My Freezer, to deserving kids without access to books at home.  

Our wish has always been to read the poems aloud to the kids and hand the books out individually rather than drop a pile of books at a nonprofit for distribution. We wanted to expand our love of reading aloud to kids besides our own! (more…)

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New Year’s Goal: Create a Family Motto

Wednesday, January 16th, 2019

family motto

I’m not really one for New Year’s resolutions. But a while back, I read an article on a family who had created its own family motto and the idea really struck a chord with me.

So, what better time than the new year to create ours?

A family motto needs to be a phrase, or a few sentences, that speaks to each person in the family.

It should be inspiring. And simple.


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Parenting with Monthly Intentions

Wednesday, January 9th, 2019

Monthly Intentions

Set resolution. Break resolution. Does this sound familiar?

Instead of a New Year’s Resolution, where I break said resolution after two weeks and feel like a failure with a capital F, I chose a word to describe my monthly intentions in 2018…and then tried my darndest to put it into action!

By setting an intention monthly, I could focus on one thing for 30 days rather than an entire year. The intentions I chose were to make me a better parent and by the same token, a better person.


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The 12 Days of Christmas Break

Wednesday, December 12th, 2018

christmas break

We’re not traveling this year for Christmas break, which means we will have A LOT of time to get creative with activities to keep the kids busy.

At dinner last night, we were brainstorming ideas and my 8-year-old, who was looking at our collection of hand-painted ornaments based on the “12 Days of Christmas,” became obsessed with the song.

“What is a bear tree? Or is it a bare tree?” she wondered, and we all giggled.

Anywho, now we’re all obsessed with the song.

Apparently, we’re not the only ones.


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How To Create Blessing Bags

Wednesday, November 7th, 2018

Blessing bags

In our recent post, Teaching Kids Gratitude, we wrote about ideas to get kids involved in practicing gratitude.

One of our favorite ways is through volunteering as a family. With younger kids, volunteer options can be a bit limited so when a friend mentioned their family had made blessing bags to give away to those in need, we wanted to learn more. (more…)

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Teaching Our Kids Gratitude

Wednesday, October 31st, 2018

Teaching Kids Gratitude

Have we become so busy with sports activities and mommy-and-me classes that we’ve somehow lost sight of one of life’s most important lessons—teaching our kids gratitude?

I recently asked myself this question when we were out to dinner and my daughter asked for ketchup from the waiter. After she got it, she chowed down without a “Thank you.”

For some reason that hit me hard. I was slightly embarrassed, but more than that, it was a wake-up call. (more…)

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Personalized Christmas Book: The Author’s Inspiration

Wednesday, October 24th, 2018

Personalized Christmas Book

I love all things Christmas, but most of all, I love seeing it through children’s eyes and the magic it brings.

Our personalized Christmas book, ‘Twas the Mouse Who Saved Christmas, does just that. As the story unfolds page by page, it reveals the magic of the season to children. 

We sat down with our author, Phil Haussler, to ask how he was inspired to create a story that has become a beloved book by many children.  (more…)

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