39 episodes

With help from guest authors, experts, and community and business leaders, the Familius Helping Families Be Happy podcast explores topics and issues that connect families to the nine habits of a happy family: love, play, learn, work, talk, heal, read, eat, and laugh together.

Helping Families Be Happy Familius

    • Kids & Family
    • 5.0 • 11 Ratings

With help from guest authors, experts, and community and business leaders, the Familius Helping Families Be Happy podcast explores topics and issues that connect families to the nine habits of a happy family: love, play, learn, work, talk, heal, read, eat, and laugh together.

    Larissa Honsek: OPPOSITES, LET'S MOVE, and Encouraging Family Creativity

    Larissa Honsek: OPPOSITES, LET'S MOVE, and Encouraging Family Creativity

    Larissa Honsek, creator of board books Opposites and Let's Move, joins CEO and co-founder of Familius, Christopher Robbins, for a discussion about her journey and how she encourages her family's creativity.


    Larissa Honsek is a Berlin-based graphic designer, photographer, and illustrator who loves to explore the intersections of these fields. Her tribe of bright and colorful characters is born out of experiments with a multitude of mixed-media elements: clay sculpting, photography, digital and analogue collaging, painting, drawing, printing, and scanning.

    ABOUT Opposites:


    Short and tall. Happy and sad. Hot and cold. Globally famous artist Larissa Honsek's adorable clay figures help little ones identify the difference in these important concepts.

    ABOUT Let's Move:


    Colorful clay characters invite children to learn about their bodies through movement. Wave your arms! Lift your legs! Open your hands and cover your eyes! You won’t be able to stay in your seat for this engaging movement primer. From the creator of Opposites comes another colorful board book for children learning what their bodies can do!

    • 27 min
    The Chameleon's True Colors with Yuliya Pankratova

    The Chameleon's True Colors with Yuliya Pankratova

    Yuliya Pankratova, author/illustrator of The Chameleon's True Colors, joins Carla Marie Manly, PhD, to discuss her new release.


    About the Book:

    Chameleon is sad because he doesn’t have a color of his own. He borrows yellow from the sun, pink from an orchid, and orange from a tiger, but will there be enough color for everyone? With gorgeous, colorful illustrations and a message about the power of giving, The Chameleon’s True Colors is the picture book every family needs on their shelf.

    About Yuliya:

    Moving from Moscow to London at five years old, Yuliya Pankratova went on to graduate with degrees in English literature and illustration, getting her first job in advertising and launching her own diversity and inclusion business. Maybe that's why belonging is such a key theme in her picture books, which she illustrates with a painterly and dynamic style. 

    • 27 min
    Hugga Loula with Author Nancy Dearborn

    Hugga Loula with Author Nancy Dearborn

    Nancy Dearborn, author of Hugga Loula, joins host Carla Marie Manly, PhD, to discuss her book.



    “If you’re grumpy or sad, frustrated or mad, just give a shout, and hug it out.”

    With the healing power of a hug and an act of kindness, little Hugga Loula diffuses all sorts of situations. Featuring colorful illustrations and charming refrain, Hugga Loula gives us an adorable hero offering care, comfort, and love to a world that desperately needs all three. 


    Nancy A. Dearborn, a former high school English teacher, graduated from UW-Whitewater with a BSE in English. She has had over 250 articles, stories, and poems published in magazines, newspapers, anthologies, and online. 



    • 18 min
    The Big Book of Family Games with Author Brad Berger

    The Big Book of Family Games with Author Brad Berger

    Author Brad Berger joins Familius co-founder and CEO Christopher Robbins to discuss the power of family game nights and his book The Big Book of Family Games.



    Bring family and friends together for hours of entertainment and real social interaction. The Big Book of Family Games: 101 Original Group Games That Don't Need Charging brings people together for hours of hilarious, interactive, technology-free fun that requires virtually nothing more than pens and paper. This travel-friendly book guarantees hours of engaging entertainment with 101 original, rigorously tested games that challenge each player's ability to strategize, bluff, read minds, memorize, think quickly, solve puzzles, and more. No texting, tweeting, or web surfing allowed! 

    Brad Berger grew up in Great Neck, New York. He attended the University of Colorado, where he earned a degree in French, Italian, and German, and he spent several years living and working in Europe. He currently resides on Long Island, where he works as president and publisher of a 130-year-old, family-owned publishing company. Inspired to bring people back together without technological interruption, Brad crafted the ultimate playbook of original games to give people a reason to come together and "unplug" for a while.


    • 26 min
    Literacy with Dylan Teut

    Literacy with Dylan Teut

    Dylan Teut connects with host Carla Marie Manly, Phd, to discuss his work studying and promoting literacy.


    Dylan Teut currently serves as the executive director of the Plum Creek Literacy Festival, and has served as an instructor for literacy courses for undergraduate students at Concordia University, Seward, Nebraska. Dylan is a former first grade teacher, recognized by the state of IL as the K-5 Reading Teacher of the Year in 2014. He was named to the International Literacy Association's inaugural "30 Under 30" list in 2015. He was recognized by Read Aloud Nebraska with a Reading Spotlight award in 2020 for his advocacy in helping educators and families stay connected to high-quality literacy during the pandemic. He is currently a PhD Candidate studying at Walden University. Since his time in Seward, he has grown the Plum Creek Festival in numerous ways. Dylan serves on the National Board of Supervisors for the Mazza Museum of Children’s Book Art, a part of the University of Findlay in Findlay, OH, and also on the National Mathical Book Award committee. He is a frequent conference presenter and has chaired panels and workshops for the International Literacy Association Annual Conference as well as the National Council of Teachers of English Annual Conference. He is a member of the International Literacy Association and the National Council of Teachers of English. He has also served on the Read Aloud Nebraska board. Dylan is an active member of Christ Lincoln: A Lutheran Ministry in Lincoln, NE where he leads the GriefShare ministry and serves as an organist and a worship elder. In his free time, you can find him buried in a pile of books, playing piano and organ, or enjoying the outdoors. Follow him on Twitter @dylanteut

    • 19 min
    52 Weeks of Cookies with Maggie McCreath

    52 Weeks of Cookies with Maggie McCreath

    Maggie McCreath, author of 52 Weeks of Cookies, joins host Carla Marie Manly, PhD, to discuss her family's journey, her book, and how baking and sending cookies helped her express her love and support while her son was deployed.


    About Maggie McCreath:

    Maggie McCreath is a single mom with two grown kids. She received a degree in Computer Science from George Mason University, and has worked in the field for over thirty years. Her life has always revolved around her family. Her kids began as her pride and joy, and have grown into her best friends and confidants.

    Her daughter Haley is the oldest. She has a degree in Journalism from Virginia Commonwealth University; however, after working for a national news organization here in Washington, DC, for four years, she determined that way of life was not for her. She currently works for a pub managing the bar and producing local radio commercials in mid-western Virginia.

    Her son, Buddy, enlisted in the Army during his senior year of High School and became Airborne directly after boot camp. He has served with the Airborne Corps up until January 2015 when he began Warrant Officer Candidate School. After successfully completing the school work, he will fly helicopters.

    Though Maggie's interest in the military strengthened with her son's enlistment, her fondness for the military and those who serve began years earlier. Her father served during World War II, and she has spent a large portion of her adult life in direct support of the military. This includes the fifteen years she worked for the Joint Staff at the Pentagon, with an additional five years working for the Pentagon at an off-site facility. On September 11, 2001, though Maggie was not at the Pentagon, she was at an off-site location working in direct support of its mission. The events of 9/11 not only catapulted her to the position she holds now, but have undoubtedly shaped her family's lives as well.

    About 52 Weeks of Cookies :

    Single mother Maggie McCreath couldn’t decide which was worse: the fact that her only son (not yet twenty-one) was off to war in Iraq for the second time or the fact that they had only five days to prepare. Even more frightening, she knew that he would be part of the Surge and, as a paratrooper in the 82nd Division of the Army, the tip of the Spear. What she did not know—what she couldn’t even bear to consider—was how this deployment would end, both for her son and for his brothers in arms, whom she had come to know and love as her own. So she turned to the one pastime that had always brought her solace: baking.

    Filled with delicious, original cookie recipes, 52 Weeks of Cookies recounts a mom’s unique methods of coping during her son’s deployment. With plenty of sugar cookies but no sugarcoating, 52 Weeks of Cookies is an honest, uplifting story of family love during a crisis, with all the fear, grief, laughter, gratitude, and joy that come with it. 

    • 21 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
11 Ratings

11 Ratings

Carla Marie Manly ,

Spectacular! So filled with love and uplifting information!

What a delight to listen to podcasts that are enriching and filled with heartfelt information. Genuinely good for the heart and soul!

C.M., Mom of 4 ,

Great Podcast! It really helps families be happy

Interesting authors and experts are interviewed in their family fields and share scores of ways that families can be happier. And who wouldn’t want just a little more happiness in their lives? No one! Love this podcast and its mission.

Hecksmama ,

Family focused content

So refreshing to find a podcast that has such a well-rounded approach to making a family work. Thank you!

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