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Kid-friendly ‘snow’ recipe

HILLS THAT THRILL Favorite slopes and nifty sleds

DON’T BE SAD Curb those seasonal mood swings

OMAHA & BEYOND NOTECARDS Write in style with notecards featuring 8 watercolor images by Omaha World-Herald artist Matt Haney. Each stationery set features high-quality, 4.25” x 5.5” cards and envelopes, boxed and ready to give as a gift or a special treat just for you!

Landmarks include: Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge, Historic Old Market, Omaha Central High School, Children’s Hospital & Medical Center, Council Bluffs Public Library, South 24th Street in South Omaha, Kenefick Park, Fort Atkinson State Historical Park



Age 9, Type I Diabetes A fourth grader with a mean front-kick, karateloving Caleb has been fighting Type I Diabetes since he was 2 years old. Never in the ring alone, he has the specialists at Children’s in his corner – “black belts” in treating children with diabetes and endocrine disorders.

Experienced, unparalleled care for children with diabetes and a full spectrum of endocrine disorders brings families from across the Midwest to Children’s Hospital & Medical Center in Omaha. Our endocrine program specializes in treatment for Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, thyroid disease, adrenal, pubertal and growth disorders and other congenital or acquired endocrine-related conditions. For a pediatric endocrinology specialist, call 1.800.833.3100 or visit 2096272-01







4 Editor’s Column 6 On Our Radar 7 Momaha Bookshelf 10 Get Organized 11 Be Well

12 Snowman Slam 13 Snowman Lantern 16 Snow Ice Cream 17 Snow Painting 20 Snow Globes 20 Sledding safety 21 Sledding Hills 22 Sleds 26 Warm Up 32 Faux Flakes

SPONSORED FEATURES 5 Huntington Learning Center 8 Goldfish Swim School 14 Marian High School 18 Omaha Children’s Museum 24 YMCA of Greater Omaha 28 Skutt Catholic High School 30 Fontenelle Forest

momaha where moms connect

VOLUME 10 . ISSUE 1 . JANUARY 2019 editor in chief CHRIS CHRISTEN 402-444-1094

creative director + designer KILEY CRUSE 402-444-1375

assistant editor MARJIE DUCEY 402-444-1034

copy editor SHELLEY LARSEN 402-444-1143

Swim Into the New Year 2019 NOW REGISTERING FOR




cover photo KILEY CRUSE

account manager L AURE N KRUGE R 402-444-1261

account executive DEBORAH FERNSELL 402-444-1209

account executive E M I LY M A R T I N 402-444-1411

account executive M A R I LY N M A R T I N 402-444-1405

Momaha Magazine is a monthly publication of the Omaha World-Herald, 1314 Douglas St., Suite 700, Omaha, NE 68102. Momaha is a registered trademark, and all content is copyright 2019 by the Omaha World-Herald. All rights reserved. The opinions and perspectives published herein are those of the authors and should not be construed as those of Momaha Magazine.

402-932-2030 3

MOMAHA.COM EDITOR // ASHLEE COFFEY Wife to Kevin Coffey, music critic for the Omaha World-Herald. Mom to Sam and Elliott. Follow her on Twitter: @AshleeCoffeyOWH



h, January. My least-favorite month. It’s cold and snowy, neither of which I particularly enjoy. Unless, of course, it’s a Friday night, and I can watch it fall from the warmth of my home and not go out in it at all. But I have children. And they love snow. I certainly did as a kid. I remember my mom bundling up my siblings and me before sending us out to play for hours. We loved exploring the snowy woods by our house and, of course, sledding with neighborhood friends. My mom had to practically beg us to come back inside. I’m not sure when I started disliking snow; probably when I had to start driving in it.

This year, my kids, who are 5 and 2, will get snowsuits for Christmas. It’s something my oldest, Sam, has been asking for. So, whether I like it or not, I will be venturing out into a coming winter wonderland for some snowy fun — particularly the snowman-creating kind. Or maybe I’ll just make my husband go out and I’ll have cups of hot cocoa ready when everyone comes back inside. That seems like a better idea. Whether you’re spending time having fun in the snow, or inside snuggled on the couch with a blanket, I hope you’re having a great start to the new year!



TWITTER @momaha_owh PINTEREST /momahaowh INSTAGRAM /momaha_owh


Nurture strengths

Kids benefit from knowing what they do best, Huntington Learning Center says


ll parents would love to see their children thrive in every subject, but the reality is that many students perform better in certain areas than others, and those preferences and strengths will carry them through their entire lives. Parents should help recognize and encourage their child’s strengths, which can lead to a happier, better student overall, says Eileen Huntington, co-founder of Huntington Learning Center. “Children can more easily fulfill their potential when they have selfawareness about what their strengths are, and they seek opportunities to nurture those strengths.” Here are a few tips to discover, draw out and nurture your child’s strengths: Take note of what gets your child excited. Your child might come up blank if you ask him or her about favorite subjects or what he or she likes about school, but you can watch from the sidelines and gain insight into what your child likes learning. Is your child eager to talk about current events? Is he or she a bookworm? Does math seem to “click” with your child? Be a careful observer of your child’s attitude about the things he or she learns. Notice your child’s interests — and find ways to extend those interests. It goes without saying that children often perform better at things they enjoy. Pay attention to your child’s hobbies and interests. Do they have anything in common? For example, is your child into meticulous activities that require attention to detail, like scrapbooking

or writing? Once you start to see patterns in your child’s interests, talk with his or her teacher about how to translate those activities into learning opportunities. Pay attention to your child’s learning style. No two children process information in the same way. Your child will be a more effective student if he or she can recognize his or her preferred learning style (or styles) and seek ways to learn in that manner. Knowing whether your child is a visual, kinesthetic or audio learner (or some combination) may help him or her when approaching different school subjects and types of homework assignments. Get your child’s perspective. Start

a conversation about the things your child enjoys and the things he aspires to improve. Does your child have ideas on how to parlay his or her personality traits (for example, outspokenness) into academic activities that might enhance his or her school experience (for example, the debate team or a school leadership position)? Huntington reminds parents that well-roundedness is an important quality. “It is always wonderful when a student is able to excel in a certain area, but it is important for students to do their best in all areas,” Huntington says. “Encourage your child to aim to improve his or her weaknesses, and to also discover and cultivate his or her strengths.”

ABOUT HUNTINGTON Huntington is the tutoring and test prep leader. Its certified tutors provide individualized instruction in reading, phonics, writing, study skills, elementary and middle school math, algebra through calculus, chemistry, and other sciences. Huntington offers prep for the SAT and ACT, as well as state and standardized exams. Huntington programs develop the skills, confidence and motivation to help students succeed and meet the needs of Common Core State Standards. Founded in 1977, Huntington’s mission is to give every student the best education possible. Learn how Huntington can help at For franchise opportunities please visit ©2018 Huntington Mark, LLC. Huntington Learning Center®, the three-leaf logo and 1-800-CAN-LEARN® are registered trademarks of Huntington Mark LLC. Each franchised Huntington Learning Center is operated under a franchise agreement with Huntington Learning Centers Inc.


ON OUR RADAR // EDITOR’S PICKS New and Momaha-tested too!



HAPPY BABY The Moonjax teether is a unique alternative for soothing your baby. The silicon-only teether doesn’t look like others on the market. About 4 inches long, it almost resembles several Philips pacifiers glued together. Its design is easy for littles to hold. Another bonus: Made of dishwasher-safe silicon, these are easier to clean than most other teethers. Introduce this teether early so your babe gets familiar with it by the time his or her teeth come in! $14.99.

The Tastemaker Create Infusions by Prep-Tools holds about 8 ounces of liquor plus the fruit of your choice. Our tester used fresh cranberries and vodka and infused for several hours. She then mixed the infused vodka with cranberry juice and club soda for an easy cocktail. The infuser has a strainer, so you can pour directly into a cocktail glass. Do not disconnect the rubber stopper; it’s next to impossible to get it back in. $27.99.

Are you an adventurer? Talkabout T600 H20 two-way radios are just the ticket – whether you are climbing, canoeing or walking the neighborhood. The waterproof radios float and have a water-activated flashlight. Climbing a mountain? It has a range of 35 miles, and you even get weather alerts, so you won’t get caught in a storm. (If you do, there’s an emergency alert button and a flashlight to preserve night vision.) $149.99.

CAMERA-READY The 1080p Home Camera from YI Technology is easy to install with a sleek new modern design. And there’s no service fee. Once you’ve downloaded the YI home app, the camera is ready to go. When the camera senses movement, it notifies your smartphone. The images are very clear. It has a wide angle, night vision, two-way audio and can allow you to hear your baby crying in the next room. $30.99.


HELP THE ENVIRONMENT Great for travelers and families on the go, the Hydaway collapsible water bottle is designed as a replacement for throw-away, single-use plastic bottles. The BPA-free bottle has a builtin filter and is dishwasher safe. Available in 18- and 28-ounce sizes, it squeezes down to just an inch thick to fit in a pocket, backpack or gym bag. $24.95.

MOMAHA BOOKSHELF Hot off the presses and worthy of your home library COMPILED by Momaha Magazine


By Divya Srinivasan The leaves are changing color and the geese are flying away, and as Little Owl flies through the forest more signs of winter appear. When it begins to snow, the forest is transformed. Many of Little Owl’s friends hibernate, but he finds new buddies in the ones who stay awake through the cold. A wonderful introduction to the changing of the seasons. Ages 2 to 6


By Richard Johnson Father and son live by themselves in a cozy cabin in the woods. One day they are separated in the snow, and the boy is lost and falls asleep. When he wakes up he’s surrounded by all kinds of creatures, who soon become his best friends. But he starts to miss his dad, and the animals bring him home. Their lonely existence is gone forever. Ages 4 to 7


By Kevin Henkes The Caldecott medalist and Newbery Honor author teams up with acclaimed painter Laura Dronzek for a picture book about winter that celebrates the sights, sounds and smells of the season. The striking but simple words combined with the appealing pictures bring the season and its many moods to life. Snow falls, animals burrow and children prepare for the wonders that winter brings. Ages 4 to 8


By J. Wayne Fears and the Boys Scouts of America Are your kids tired of sitting in front on a computer screen and itching to get outside and explore the snowy landscape? They can learn all kinds of practical outdoor skills in this book, from building a fire and erecting a simple shelter to navigating without a compass. Thorough explanations and large photos make this easy to use. Age 12+


By Tyrell Johnson Forget the old days. Forget summer and warmth. Lynn McBride has learned much since society collapsed in the face of nuclear war and the relentless spread of disease. She and her family have been forced to hunt and trap to survive in the snow-covered Canadian Yukon. Then the enigmatic figure of Jax arrives, setting in motion a chain of events that will force Lynn to fulfill a destiny she never imagined. A quick and easy read but with a few graphic scenes. Young adult



New pool in town Goldfish Swim School is coming to Omaha in early 2019


oldfish Swim School is about to make a splash in west Omaha with a shiver-free, 90-degree pool and a novel approach to teaching kids how to be safe in the water. The curriculum, for ages 4 months to 12 years, is based on the Science of SwimPlay®. Learning is guided by instructors and reinforced by parents — through play both in and out of the water. Kids progress at their own pace, and families can enroll at any time. What’s more, families with kids of different ages and skill levels can swim together during the same half-hour time slot, and make-up lessons are free. Other highlights of the Golden Experience at Goldfish Swim School West Omaha include: • Highly trained instructors • Small class sizes (maximum 4:1 student-to-teacher ratio) • State-of-the-art water purification system


kids to practice their swimming skills and families to enjoy some bonding time, day or evening. Families can even have exclusive use of the pool for a child’s birthday party, complete with lifeguard and staff assistance in setting up and cleaning up!


• Air-conditioned viewing gallery for parents to watch lessons • Spacious family dressing area with private changing rooms • Snack bar • Retail shop • Warm, tropical décor


Weekly family swims (for both members and non-members) allow

The Goldfish team’s community outreach includes free presentations on water safety for any interested school, daycare, PTO, scout group or other community group. Learn more by visiting


Goldfish Swim School West Omaha lessons will begin in early spring 2019. Pre-register for lessons by visiting Check back for details on a free grandopening event and other activities for the whole family.


11730 Peel Circle LaVista, NE 68128 402-592-4545


Benefits your child will enjoy

just add water.

• Upbeat, age appropriate music • Easy to learn routines • Physical fitness and coordination skills for girls and boys • Enthusiastic and knowledgeable instructors

Help them make waves in life. Our award-winning tropical environment is simply the fun backdrop where kids do some serious growing and learning. So while we’re focused on the serious stuff, your family will be focused on the fun. It’s what we call The Science of SwimPlay®.

+ SHIVER-FREE, 90-DEGREE POOL 2123104-01 2030546-01

Friday, February 22 7:00 p.m.


*family friendly time!

The Popovich Comedy Pet Theater is entertainment for the whole family, featuring a unique blend of comedy, juggling and performing pets!


WEST OMAHA | 402.281.3900

$30 (adult) / $13 (21 and under)

2502 S 133rd Plaza |

GET TICKETS NOW! 712.388.7140 2134022-01



GET ORGANIZED // AMY TOKOS Amy Tokos is a Certified Professional Organizer and the owner of Freshly Organized. You can find more organizing tips at

organizing blunders and how to avoid them One mistake is buying storage containers before getting rid of unwanted items


hy is it so hard to feel organized? You may be blundering your approach. Here are the top five blunders and how to avoid falling into their trap.


Many times we find organizing inspiration in the aisles of our favorite stores. But instead of buying organizing products first, cleaning out the unwanted items in your space should be the No. 1 priority. Let’s take a closet for example. You can buy hangers, baskets and shoe racks. But if you wear only 50 percent of your clothes, you are storing and organizing a lot of things that you could get rid of instead. Once a purge is done you can purchase needed supplies, but you might find you already have plenty.


A good system is one you can maintain. If you struggle with disorganization and create systems that require too many steps to maintain, the system will most likely fail. Consider your pantry. You can set it up with cute labeled containers for your pasta, grains, cereal and other dry items. It’ll look great to start, but maybe only for a few months. Then you’ll get busy and start setting groceries next to the containers to fill later. Soon you’ll realize you have a bunch of empty containers. If you struggle with organizing, keep your solutions simple.


If you set aside a day to work on a big organizing project, you might find yourself continually procrastinating instead. Most


January 2019

times that’s because there’s something better (aka more fun) to do with that time. You will have more success if you break the project into smaller pieces. Tackle a shelf, cabinet or drawer each week. This keeps you moving forward without getting overwhelmed.


Your friend finds a perfect solution for organizing a space. You see it, love it and try it but for some reason it just doesn’t work for you. You beat yourself up and feel as though you’ll never be organized. Sound familiar? Solutions need to be customized for each person. Our brains process different, so what works for one person might not work for someone else. Take it easy on yourself and figure out what works for you and the way you process.


We all want spaces that look nice, but you have to find a balance between a space that is staged and a space that is livable. If you’ve ever tried to copy a space in a picture online or in a magazine, you may have unrealistic expectations. This can lead to frustration no matter how organized you are. A nice picture of a kitchen doesn’t account for mail coming into the space, kids doing their homework or a meal being prepped. That’s living and also cluttering a kitchen. If the everyday living frustrates you then take a step back. The other people in your home aren’t enjoying your picture-perfect expectations. Keep it real and enjoy living in your spaces.

be well You can fight effects of SAD STORY Marjie Ducey


t’s difficult this time of year when it’s dark when you wake up and dark as you drive home from work. Dr. Jonathon Sikorski, assistant professor and director of wellness education at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, calls it ominous. We’re solar-powered people, he says, who thrive more in the sunlight. “So as it gets colder and darker earlier, and we’re not doing things outside, our mood tends to tank,’’ he says. “For some that tanking is worse Dr. Jonathon than others.’’ Sikorski That overwhelming feeling of helplessness can be caused by something called seasonal affective disorder, or SAD. If you have little energy or are feeling depressed, with problems sleeping and big changes in your weight or appetite, it might be a good time to visit your physician. Ali DeLizza It’s not a disorder that usually affects young children, but it can affect how you treat them. Give yourself a break if you’re feeling down, says Ali DeLizza, a predoctoral psychology intern for Sikorski.

“No parent is perfect all of the time,’’ she says. “If you notice yourself snapping at the kids a little more, recognizing that is the first thing. Reach out, talk to a doctor, just access those people who can help.’’ Sikorski says children are good barometers of how their parents are feeling. His children, ages 2 and 4, will try to be more affectionate if he’s having a bad day or feeling said. It’s OK to tell them that mom or dad is having a hard time. “Then dance around to break up the mood,’’ he says. Older children might become more irritable, have a shorter fuse or temper tantrums. SAD is harder to spot in teens, because their moods tend to fluctuate more at that age. If a low mood lasts a week or two, with no signs of rebounding, they’re having problems sleeping and they are gaining weight, check in with their pediatrician. Or just ask how they’re feeling and why. “Make that a regular routine,’’ DeLizza says. Talking with friends, your spouse, a support group or a therapist is a good idea for adults, too. It can be very beneficial, since many times the first inclination is to isolate. Medicine or light treatments also can help. So can staying busy or exercising. “You are not in this alone,’’ Sikorski says. “It’s a normal thing. You don’t need to suffer in isolation.’’

Hiz& Herz





Kidz Shoppe and Hiz & Herz Consignment Sales in West Omaha. See our websites for information

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Snowman Slam It’s like a pillow fight — only tamer! TEXT Chris Christen PHOTOGRAPHY Kiley Cruse

Cabin fever doesn’t have a chance of setting in when the whole family is involved in creating and then playing Snowman Slam. Even better, you most likely will have all of the materials or something similar on hand for an impromptu craft session. The game involves stacking six drinking cups in a pyramid and knocking them over with cotton-filled “snowballs.” Players get a point for each cup that topples on its side. Parents score on so many levels with Snowman Slam: All ages can participate. It’s mess-free, packs easily and costs pennies. Plus, it builds dexterity.

WHAT YOU NEED • 16-ounce cups, either plastic or plastic foam • Black and orange craft foam, construction paper or felt • White no-show socks • Cotton balls or other soft, puffy filler • Craft glue • Scissors


1. Decorate cups to resemble a snowman’s face. Cut lumps of coal the size of quarters and nickels from black felt and use to create eyes and mouth. Cut carrot-like triangles from orange felt for nose. Affix to cup with glue. 2. To make the snowballs, tightly ball up three white socks with cotton or poly filler to form snowballs. Fold and tuck open end of each sock into the ball to keep filler in place. Stitch opening closed with needle and thread for more durability. Game on!


BRIGHT IDEA Drink your milk and “glow on” to enjoy the jug TEXT Jessica Thompson PHOTOGRAPHY Kiley Cruse

Don’t toss those plastic milk jugs! Recycle them as snowman lanterns.

WHAT YOU NEED • Clear plastic milk jug • String lights, plug-in or battery-operated • Black paper • Orange paper • Pipe cleaners • Cotton balls or pompoms • Craft glue • Scissors • Optional: Feathers, bells, ornaments or other embellishments


1. Using scissors, cut a hole about the size of a deck of cards in the back of the milk jug. Place string lights inside jug, allowing wall plug to trail. 2. Cut two freehand circles for eyes and five slightly smaller freehand circles for the mouth from black paper. Glue pieces to the jug. 3. Cut a long triangle shape from orange paper and glue to jug as the nose. 4. Glue pipe cleaner ends to sides of the snowman’s face, making an arch over the jug. 5. Glue cotton balls or pompoms and other decorations, if any, to the ends of the pipe cleaners to create earmuffs. 6. Illuminate your snowman lantern and enjoy the warm glow of the season! Note: Battery-operated lights will give you greater placement versatility and give off less heat after several hours of illumination.



Ace that test Marian offers strategies for the high school entrance exam


f your child plans to attend a private high school, he or she is required to take an entrance or placement exam. In Omaha, all Catholic high schools administer the High School Placement Test (HSPT) on Jan. 12, 2019. On Feb. 12, scholarships are awarded by each school to those students who scored highest on the test taken at their school. An entrance or placement exam may be a little daunting. However, you can help your child prepare by employing basic test-taking strategies. For kids with testtaking anxiety, the best tip is to prepare. The second best tip? Talk about it. Find out what works for your child.


Read always: One of the best ways to build vocabulary, practice comprehension skills and improve reading speed is to read every day. Even better, discuss with your child what she liked, what she learned and what questions she has after reading. Coach your child: Test-taking strategies can help. » Take your best guess after carefully considering the answers to a question. » Eliminate answers that are incorrect to narrow your choices. » If you have time at the end of the test, review your answers. » Don’t change your answers unless you are 99 percent sure. Usually your first answer is correct. Practice: If your child took the practice test as a sixth- or seventh-grader, he or she will be familiar with what to expect. Don’t

worry if your child didn’t take the practice exam – all elementary and junior high schools administer standardized tests, and all students have had experience taking tests. Plan: Review the school’s checklist for what your child will need and set everything out the night before. Sleep: Studies show that people perform better on mental tasks when wellrested. Teens need eight to 10 hours of sleep every night.


Eat a good breakfast. High-protein foods will help with concentration and

keep your child alert. Dress for success. Remind your child to wear comfortable clothing – dress with at least one layer in case the testing room is cool or warm. Allow plenty of time: Make sure you have time for morning routines and for travel to the test site. Don’t stress: A calm and confident demeanor will help your student do well. With a little preparation, your child can master the high school entrance exam. These skills will serve students well for the future demands of high school exams, comprehensive finals and eventually college entrance exams.

AT MARIAN, entrance tests and transfer evaluations are part of the admissions criteria. We use the placement exam scores to award scholarships, but we also use the scores to place students into freshman courses. We encourage prospective parents to take advantage of the exciting events Marian has planned for your daughter. For more information, visit Founded by the Servants of Mary in 1955, Marian is a Catholic, all-girls college preparatory school twice recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence. As Nebraska’s only Class A girls high school, Marian provides the opportunities of a large high school in a smaller setting. Marian welcomes students of all cultural, economic and spiritual backgrounds. About the author: Jen Feregrino Christen is an assistant principal at Marian High School. She has master’s degrees in reading and educational leadership and over 10 years of classroom teaching experience. If you have questions about the admissions policy or placement exam at Marian, contact Jen at


100 Bancroft Street | Omaha, NE | (402) 346-4002 |



MARIAN’S P L AC E M E N T E X A M Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019 8 a.m. to Noon $12 test fee Register online by Jan. 9 at:

7 4 0 0 M I L I TA RY AV E N U E O M A H A , N E 6 8 1 3 4 MARIANHIGHSCHOOL.NET 2131862-01


Scoop Snow makes for a cold treat and a fun canvas TEXT + PHOTOGRAPHY Heather Winkel

I scream, you scream, we all scream for snow cream WHAT YOU NEED • 1 cup milk • 1 teaspoon vanilla •

1/ 3

cup sugar

• Pinch of salt • 8-10 cups fresh snow


January 2019


1. Mix milk, vanilla, sugar and salt together in a large bowl. 2. Head outside and collect clean snow. 3. Mix snow into bowl. 4. Scoop mixture into cups or paper cones and enjoy with sprinkles.

Snow painting like Jackson Pollock WHAT YOU NEED • Plastic squeeze bottles • Food coloring • Water • Snow


1. Squeeze several drops of food coloring into plastic squeeze bottles, creating one color at a time. 2. Fill bottles with water and shake to mix food coloring. 3. Find a smooth patch of snow with no footprints and paint away. A Jackson Pollock-like splatter technique works well with squirt bottles!



Bodies in motion Kids learn biomechanics, STEM through active exhibits at the Omaha Children’s Museum TEXT Mike Watkins


hile most museums prohibit touching exhibits – keeping art, paintings or historic artifacts at a distance behind ropes and protective cases – that’s not how the Omaha Children’s Museum rolls. In fact, visitors are encouraged to interact with displays. It’s called experiential learning – learning by doing and experiencing something first-hand. So it’s no surprise that one of the museum’s biggest attractions is ”Super Sports: Building Strength, Sportsmanship and Smarts.” The special exhibit teaches children how their bodies move through motion in 10 sports. At the same time, without even realizing it, children are learning about biomechanics – the study of the body in motion in space – and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). Just by playing and doing. “They’re learning about balance playing on the balancing beam and how their body reacts when jumping and landing in volleyball. They don’t even know they are learning because they are having so much fun doing it,” says Dr. Anne Karabon, assistant professor of early childhood and STEM education at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Karabon is on the museum’s executive board. “In curling, as they move rocks down the ice, they can notice action-reaction and acceleration while having a great time. That’s the idea.” When it comes to identifying opportunities for learning by playing, Karabon is an expert. She began her professional career as an early childhood and public elementary school teacher. Today she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on culturally responsive and socially just science and mathematics practices for young children. Her research and published work focus on practices



that draw on children’s multiple resources and knowledge from daily experiences at home, in the community and in play to influence STEM content. She is currently researching how early elementary school teachers can incorporate biomechanics into curriculums and how young museum visitors learn through play and exploration. “When they are doing these activities, it’s important that adults ask them what they are doing. Use rich words and help them start to make the connection between engaging in a fun activity and learning in the process,” Karabon says. “So ask them to identify what parts of their body they are using when they move from side to side or are jumping and landing. This reinforces the learning process.” Last November at the museum, Karabon hosted a Biomechanics Night with Dr. Amelia Lanier Knarr of the Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence at the

Department of Biomechanics at UNO. Professionals in early childhood education attended to learn about biomechanics in a partnership between the museum and the UNO College of Education. UNO’s BODYMODELS, a three-year project that introduces biomechanics into classrooms, is funded through the National Science Foundation’s Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers. “Children are naturally curious. They love to explore and find out answers,” Karabon says. “Imagination play, such as being a baseball player in the Super Sports exhibit, is a great way for them to try out different roles.” “What’s exciting about biomechanics is that it’s low cost because it’s learning about how the body moves in space. Children of every socioeconomic group can learn about this simply by doing. They use their bodies as tools to study science and mathematics even if they don’t realize they’re doing it.”

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SAFE SLEDDING Don’t let an accident put the brakes on your fun STORY Marjie Ducey

Sledding injuries send thousands of people to emergency rooms each year. More than half are head injuries. Here’s how to keep your kids and yourself safe on the slopes.



WHAT YOU NEED • Empty baby food jars • Goo Gone or other adhesive remover • Spray paint • Polymer clay • Mini decorations (be sure they fit inside the jar) • Glycerin (pharmacies have it as a suppository) • Bonding glue (such as DAP RapidFuse) • Pencil • Glitter (avoid clear or fine glitter) • Distilled water • Parchment paper



1. Use the adhesive remover to clean the label residue from the jar. 2. Spray-paint the jar lid. 3. Form clay into a circle roughly the size of a quarter for the base of the globe. Place on parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes if the clay is ¼-inch thick; 30 minutes if ½ inch. 4. Spread bonding glue in the middle of the inside of the jar lid. Place the clay base and hold as directed (RapidFuse: 30 seconds). 5. Arrange mini decorations and use a pencil to mark the location. Place glue drop on the mark and hold figure in place for the time specified for the glue (RapidFuse: 30 seconds). 6. Let the decoration cure (RapidFuse: 30 minutes). 7. Place a small amount of glitter in the jar. Fill the jar with distilled water almost to the top. Add several drops of glycerin (it keeps the glitter from falling too quickly, but too much will cause the glitter to stick to the bottom when the jar is flipped over). 8. Before carefully replacing the lid, place a small amount of glue around the rim of the jar’s mouth (this will keep the lid securely on). Screw the lid on tightly. Shake and enjoy!

Look for a hill that’s not too steep and has a long flat area at the bottom for gliding to a stop. Avoid hillsides that end near a street or parking lot or in ponds, trees, fences or other hazards. Sled during the daytime, when visibility is better.


Wear sensible winter clothing such as hats, gloves or mittens, snow pants, winter jacket and snow boots. Waterproof is best. Bring along a change of clothes in case you get wet. Avoid wearing scarves or any clothing that can get caught in a sled and pose a risk of strangulation. Consider a helmet designed for winter sports.


The best can be steered by their riders and have brakes to slow them down. Never put young kids on sleds that can’t be steered, such as tubes, saucers or toboggans, and never use a sled substitute such as a lunch tray or cardboard box.


Designate a go-to adult who can be there to assist if someone is injured. Always sit face-forward on a sled. Sliding down backward, face-first or standing increases the risk of a head injury. Children age 5 and younger should sled with an adult, and kids younger than 12 should be actively watched at all times. Go down the hill one at a time and with only one person per sled (except for adults with young children). If you fall off the sled, move out of the way. If you find yourself on a sled that won’t stop, roll off and away from it. Walk up the side of the hill and leave the middle open for other sledders. Never ride a sled that is being pulled by a moving vehicle.

HILLS FOR THRILLS Did someone say fresh snow? • Want to try a new hill? Want a new way to zoom? We’ve got you covered. • Here are 10 of our favorite slopes in the Omaha-area. LAURA DODGE ELEMENTARY

3520 Maplewood Blvd., a snow mound that attracts tons of children.


North of Dodge Street just west of Happy Hollow Boulevard. Some parking is available beside the park driveway off Underwood Avenue.


Near 160th and Harrison Streets, a steep slope sits behind the school.


Behind Holling Heights Elementary School in the Millard school district.

PAPILLION-LA VISTA SOUTH HIGH Near 108th Street and Nebraska Highway 370, a great snow-scape layout.


9920 Brentwood Drive in La Vista, a fast hill.

RALSTON MIDDLE SCHOOL 8202 Lakeview St. in Ralston, a great slope near the school.

ST. ROBERT BELLARMINE SCHOOL Near 120th and Pacific Streets, a bunny slope sits west of the school.


The preferred hill is off Spring Lake Drive just west of 13th Street, about a block south of L Street.


Off 156th Street on the east side of the park, near the F Street entrance that leads to soccer fields.




Snowboarding is a great sport for kids and adults. Snowboards are designed for different skill levels, so you can choose an appropriate model. For example, for a beginner you can buy a plastic snowboard or a snowboard with a handle at the front for added balance and steering.



A toboggan is a long, narrow sled that is curled up at the front. Most toboggans have grooved bottoms to help them slide fast and straight. This sled is meant for family fun – and we mean the entire family ... at once. Think of it as the mini-van of sleds. Modern toboggans are typically inflatable or made of plastic, wood or other materials. They can be controlled with a little shift in weight from side-toside and have the potential to speed down the slopes if snow conditions are right.


The saucer is the sports car of sleds. Shaped in a circle and able to comfortably fit one person, saucers are quick, slick and offer a fast descent. Due to their design, trying to steer is a losing proposition. But, if you have an open hill with few obstacles and a need for speed, then saucers are the sled for you.


If you’re the type who likes to be in control (or prefers to go around trees instead of into them), you’ll love a sled with steering capability. There are highend versions with their own steering wheels – but those are pricey. Zipfy makes a range of sleds that offer a great amount of control. They are made for individual riders.




These inflatable tubes are designed for sliding, spinning and bouncing down snow-covered hills. They are quick to inflate and deflate, making them perfect for the sledder on the go, or the infrequent sledding trip. For best results, use inflatable tubes and sleds in deep, light snow. Be warned – tubes are comfortable but don’t allow you to brake easily!

Foam sleds are great for kids because they are soft and lightweight. They’re easy to use, and come in a range of shapes and sizes. They have a simple design that lets you ride however you like – lying or your stomach, going feet first or kneeling on the sled. A plus for parents: They don’t go lightning fast. They are a great option for keeping your daredevil under control.

Though a wood and steel runner sled may look like a vintage decoration, there’s a reason they have been produced for more than 100 years – they work. This type of sled is not meant for powdery snow, but in the right conditions, this sled will not only zip you downhill as fast as any more modern option, but it even allows you to control your ride.



Mom on the move Y staff member enjoys job flexibility, having impact on others’ health TEXT + PHOTOGRAPHY Mike Watkins


t took Dorine Nordstrom almost 40 years to realize what she wanted to do when she grew up. Fortunately, when the Millard mom of three found her career calling, it was while she was working out at her local YMCA. Now, several years later, she’s the group fitness manager at that Y – Armbrust Family YMCA – and she can’t imagine doing anything else. “I was a project manager for six years with HewlettPackard, but when we had our second son 11 years ago, I left to be a stay-at-home mom,” says Nordstrom, a native of Lyon, France. She met her husband, Travis, a Nebraska native, while both were studying in Germany. “We joined the Y in 2008, and the boys played basketball and took swimming lessons here. I’ve been seriously working out since 2013. We love the Y.” It was during one of those workouts two years ago that Nordstrom was approached to teach a circuit – strength and cardio – class at Armbrust (and later at the Southwest YMCA). A couple of months later, she was asked to teach a cycling class, and last February, she took over as the group fitness manager, scheduling classes for 35 instructors as well as continuing to teach several classes – which she loves. With three sons – Noah, 14; Théo (pronounced Tay-o), 11; and Paul, 9 – still needing her attention and assistance, Nordstrom says she enjoys the flexibility of her part-time schedule with the Y. She’s able to still do all the “mom” things, such as dropping off and picking up her sons at school, attending their events during the day and in the evening, and just being there for them when they need her. But what she loves most is being able to help people find their best selves through exercise as part of the YMCA family. “There’s a guy in my Monday circuit class who enjoys walking around the room and congratulating people when he notices they’ve lost weight, giving them highfives. I love seeing him do that and knowing that I’ve helped people get stronger and healthier,” she says. “Every day I come here, and it doesn’t feel like work to me, at least not the work I’m used to. The Y does so much for the community, and I love what it is and what it represents. We don’t have anything like the Y in France, and I just feel very fortunate to be part of it.” Another element she enjoys is knowing the names


of the members who take her classes along with their strengths and limitations. She adapts her classes to fit the needs of everyone in some capacity. In her view, there’s nothing more satisfying about her work than knowing she is helping people on their health journey, and that includes reminding them about healthy eating habits to complement their commitment to exercise. “I’ve always felt like I’m part of a close family here at the Y,” she says. “I know I’m just one of many employees, but I love knowing that I’m part of something bigger than me – an organization that positively impacts our community every day. I honestly can’t imagine working anywhere or doing anything else. I found my calling at the Y.”




• 2 FREE sessions with a Wellness Coach • Over 570 Group Exercise classes per week • FREE childcare while you use the Y • Discounted programming for members • and more!

JAN. 4-7: PAY NO JOINING FEE! Valid at any YMCA of Greater Omaha location or online. Must be a new member. Cannot be combined with any other offer. Must present bank draft info. First draft 2/3/19.






big pot of chicken and noodle soup sounds perfect after a busy day of sledding. We found a super easy recipe that’s a breeze to throw together when you get home. Pair it with a salad and a loaf of bread and you have a delicious meal in minutes. You can start warming the kiddos up first with a yummy cup of hot cocoa. The more marshmallows the better! If there are a few adults in the party, they can cozy up to a hot toddy.

Chicken noodle soup • Two 6-ounce cans of shredded chicken


• 1 teaspoon fresh parsley, chopped

• 2 cubes chicken bouillon

• 1 cup milk

• 4 cups water

• 4 carrots, chopped

• 3-ounce package of creamy

• 4 stalks celery, chopped

chicken ramen noodles with

• 1 cup frozen peas

seasoning packet, divided

• 1 cup frozen corn

• 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning

• ½ onion, chopped

Place chicken, bouillon and water in a four-cup measuring cup; microwave on high for five minutes. Add ramen noodle seasoning packet, poultry seasoning, parsley and milk. Pour chicken mixture and vegetables into a Dutch oven; boil for 5 to 7 minutes. Break ramen noodles in half and add. Boil for an additional 3 to 4 minutes. Reduce heat and serve within 5 minutes. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Hot Chocolate

Start with your basic hot chocolate mix. Then, if you like, you can add a few twists. COCONUT WHITE CHOCOLATE • 2 tablespoons of white chocolate chips • 2 teaspoons shredded coconut • 1 cup milk

CARAMEL • 2 tablespoons of milk chocolate chips • 1 tablespoon caramel sauce • 2 tablespoons of heavy cream • 1 cup milk

PEANUT BUTTER • 2 tablespoons of milk chocolate chips • 1 tablespoon peanut butter • 1 tablespoon heavy cream HEIDI HOFFMAN

• 1 cup milk

Spiked Cider • ½ cup of hot apple cider • 2 ounces of Tuaca (Italian brandy liqueur) • Cinnamon stick

Bring the apple cider and cinnamon stick to a boil. Add Tuaca at the end. You can also make a cinnamon apple version by using 2 ounces of Fireball cinnamon whisky instead of Tuaca.




Living their faith Skutt Catholic aims to form good Christians who serve others




kutt Catholic High School opened its doors in 1993 with the goal of serving as a strong, academic college prep school with an emphasis on sharing the ideals of Catholic beliefs. It is teaching students that “faith” and “love” are verbs – actions to be lived daily. President Jeremy Moore takes pride in that focus on school culture. “Our school mission is to form and educate young men and women to become Christian leaders who empower others, promote justice and initiate change,” Moore said. “We try to form them to become good Christian people who go out and serve others.” The school recently launched a discipleship program, the first Nebraska school to do so. The program consists of groups of four to five students learning more about the Catholic faith and sharing it with others. Skutt Catholic also seeks to expand course offerings and programs while also being a school that’s well-known for everything. This means providing opportunities for students to excel spiritually, athletically and academically.


One of the primary strengths of Skutt Catholic is our faculty. More than 80 percent have master’s degrees, indicating their desire for lifelong learning. The commitment of the staff translates to a solid educational program at the school. “We have one of the best educations in the area,” Moore says. “With an average ACT score of over 25.6 and multiple students earning perfect scores, the academics within the program are top notch.” It doesn’t stop there: The school has consistently been at the top of its game in multiple sports and activities, including football, volleyball, wrestling and show choir. More than 120 kids are involved in choir programs. It’s a school that doesn’t hang its hat on just one thing. The community within the Skutt Catholic family is essential to maintaining the school’s culture. “We have strong community support, whether that’s from parents, alumni or grandparents,” Moore said. “Our culture has become one that keeps living and breathing and has the same mission of growing strong Christian leaders. You

• Students testing at Skutt Catholic have the greatest access to academic scholarship dollars there. The eighthgrade entrance exam for the 2019-2020 school year is set for Jan. 12 at 8 a.m. There will be a short meeting for parents once students start the exam. The practice exam for sixth- and seventh-grade students will be Jan. 19 at 8 a.m. • Students can register at skuttcatholic. com or contact Tim Bloomingdale at to set up a time to shadow a current student or tour the school.

can’t walk in our building without feeling that energy and seeing all of those opportunities.” On the horizon for Skutt Catholic is furthering the Campaign to Soar, which focuses on improving the entire school. The first projects are to incorporate building growth. The school recently underwent renovation for a new front entrance with the newest in security measures and building design. Subsequent projects include building a new choir classroom, two new art rooms, a journalism room and a new biology lab to be finished for fall 2019. The rest of the building is getting a facelift. The caliber of graduates from Skutt Catholic is among the best, Moore said. “A lot of people look at education as an investment,” he said. “What’s your return on investment? We have business owners, doctors, lawyers, people who are doing great things in the community and around the world. Students leave Skutt Catholic and go on to serve in the United States military, or attend the best colleges and universities both locally and around the country. Students are prepared to soar.”


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Life runs wild In the stillness of winter, creatures are stirring and birds are aflutter at Fontenelle Forest TEXT Molly Mullen PHOTOGRAPHY Alex Wiles


f you think winter is nature’s offseason, think again. While humans may be nestled in their homes, practically hibernating indoors all winter, the forests and wild spaces are aflutter with activity. With more than a mile of boardwalk safe for strollers, wheelchairs and power scooters, and 19 miles of rugged trails, winter animal watching is a great way to get all the generations out of the house. With leafless trees and a backdrop of white snow, winter is an ideal time to see birds, and many of them won’t be back until next winter! Try winter birding: Fontenelle Forest is a designated “Important Bird Area” by the Audubon Society. Cardinals, finches, woodpeckers, chickadees and wild turkeys all color the white landscape with streaks of movement. Some species of robins come from Canada and winter in the forest, so this is the only time to spy them. Let the little ones experiment with the camera and try some birding photography on a quiet winter’s day. Or, purchase a birding book from the Fontenelle Forest gift shop, rent binoculars and begin a life-long fascination with birding. Use snowshoes to follow animal tracks: Snow offers a great way to track animals. After a fresh snow, the forest has evidence of all the creatures stirring while the humans were indoors. Strap on some snowshoes ($5 rental, both child and adult sizes) and head down a trail to begin your tracking adventure. You will be surprised at how many species’ footprints you’ll see in the snow. On a short trail loop you might glimpse the pattern of voles, raccoons, turkeys and deer, all completely unique. You may even get lucky and see the


RENT YOUR GEAR Rent binoculars, power scooters, wheelchairs, strollers or snowshoes (seasonally) from Visitor Services at Fontenelle Forest, open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

animals who created the tracks, such as deer. Never snowshoed before? Check Fontenelle Forest’s Facebook page for group snowshoeing opportunities as it snows. Make a winter bird feeder: Food can be hard to find in the snow. While birds prefer many different kinds of seeds, you can’t go wrong with black sunflower seeds, which are safe and healthy for almost all species. Simply tie a string to a pine cone to hang it when finished. Then, coat a pine cone in vegetable shortening or

organic peanut butter so the seeds will stick. Next, roll your greasy pine cone in your black sunflower seeds and hang outside your window! You can re-roll in sunflower seeds as needed. This should attract finches, cardinals, woodpeckers and more.




Opens first week of January 2019 Camps offered weekly June 3 - August 2


y h t l a get he WITH US





FUN FLAKES Kid-friendly recipes for an indoor snow day TEXT + PHOTOGRAPHY Kiley Cruse

Are you wanting to build a snowman but there’s no snow? Or, is it too cold to play outside? Try making “snow” indoors. Here are two recipes for faux flakes:



• ½ cup white conditioner

• 1 cup baking soda

• 2½ cups baking soda

• Shaving cream, add until desired consistency

Feels like wet snow.

Feels more powdery. Source:


When her doctor is out,

We’re here.

               weekend and holiday sick appointments for all children. We’re not an urgent care center but a real pediatric clinic with scheduled appointments.

When she’s sick, you can count on us to be here.

402.334.7425 139th    6715 South 180th Street 7205 West Center Road, Suite 104 2126781-01


Doll Maker's GIFT

Return to JAN 25 - FEB 10


FEB 9 - MAR 3


FEB 22 - MAR 10  MAINSTAGE An evening at The Rose inspires your imagination. Something magical happens as you go off seeking buried treasure, shrink down to get a bug’s eye view, uncover the things that go bump in the night or discover the Hundred Acre Wood with an old friend. As you laugh, sigh, sing and dance together, you bond with your child in a unique way and make memories that last a lifetime. Set the stage for an experience your whole family will enjoy -- at The Rose! COMING SOON

• Return to Niobrara • Thumbelina • The Doll Maker’s Gift • Winnie the Pooh • Dragons Love Tacos • Roald Dahl’s Matilda

TICKETS: (402) 345-4849 or

Profile for Omaha World-Herald

Momaha Magazine - January 2019  

A parenting magazine by the Omaha World-Herald.

Momaha Magazine - January 2019  

A parenting magazine by the Omaha World-Herald.