Merry Christmas From Odyssey Adventure Club

Merry Christmas From Odyssey Adventure Club!!


Tired of the Christmas shopping, the baking and sugar overload, the Christmas festivities that keep you away from your family during the season? Take time special time to spend with your loved ones and invest in your community—with Focus on the Family’s help!

You can download a fun gift to give to your friends, family, and community! Each Christmas stocking stuffer card directs you to a special place to hear an Adventures in Odyssey Christmas episode. Plus, you’ll be able to read a special excerpt from Imagination Station #12, “Danger on a Silent Night.” Sign up here to download the free cards.

Plus stop by this page for a slew of crafts, recipes, and stories to share with your family during this special time of year!


If you’re still looking for one last gift to give your kids this year, give the gift of the Odyssey Adventure Club (OAC). It offers safe and free content for everyone in your family, including an Advent calendar, a broadcast download with tips to create a memorable Christmas, AIO cutouts, and Christmas stocking stuffer cards. Membership to the OAC costs just $9.99 a month — or even less if parents make a six-month or one-year commitment. Enrollment provides more than enough content to keep kids engaged throughout the year:

  • Access to exclusive content and first looks at books and select Radio Theatre dramas.
  • On-the-go access to the OAC app for both iOS and Android users.
  • 24/7 streaming access to nearly 800 AIO episodes.
  • A new, members-only AIO episode every month.
  • A subscription to Adventures in Odyssey Clubhouse Magazine, and more.


Merry Christmas From Odyssey Adventure Club

To learn more about the Odyssey Adventure Club, visit, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

But most of all Merry Christmas from Odyssey Adventure Club and from us the bloggers who love to share the fun with you.  I know my kids are loving these episodes and it has given us something great to listen to when it’s so yucky and rainy out.  That’s right, rain, not snow this Christmas season.   We’re still holding out hope for snow soon!

When Life Doesn’t Go As Planned

So I don’t know about you, but every time I think I have this great plan something happens.  I really do mean every time!  So now let me introduce you to what I like to call When Life Doesn’t Go As Planned.

When life doesn’t go as planned what do you do?

Do you rant and rave and let everything fall totally apart?  Or do you take what you have and whip it into something fun and exciting?


When Life Doesn't go as Planned


Now the main topic of this post is how to homeschool even when life doesn’t go as planned, but really this applies to all of life and doing what needs to be done. 

I’m a planner.  I like to plan my life out.  I have a planner that I write EVERYTHING in.  It helps me stay focused and know at the beginning of each month, week, or day what needs to be done and relatively what order those things need to be done in.  I like to know what I’m doing each day.  

I’m not a fan of surprises. . . .  at all really.  I’m also not a fan of things that aren’t planned out.  I hate not knowing what time and where I’m going to meet someone the next day.  I need to know for my sanity.

So what happens when life doesn’t go as planned?  Do I have a total meltdown?

Well, at one point in my life having life not go as planned would have made me angry, at another point in my life it would have created anxiety, but now I’ve learned how to help myself and my family when life doesn’t go as planned.

Somethings to remember when your day goes to shambles are that just because it’s not your plan for the day doesn’t mean there isn’t  A PLAN for the day.  Sometimes you just need to make some slight modifications to your plan and others the whole plan needs to be ditched and a new one made up.

For us there are some days that my entire plan goes out the window.  I’ve got a child having a regression and another who’s having a meltdown that they can’t find their favorite shoe.  Life with 9 kids is not going to follow my schedule.  My schedule has to follow their needs.  And I’m not just meaning that they need food and clothing and we have to do school.

Some days they’re going to need more love and patience and we’re going to have to skip that field trip or postpone that trip to the grocery store.  I’ve made a list of “back ups” for when we can’t do something that others are looking forward to.

Our change of plans can mean staying in and watching a movie instead of going to the park.  It can mean taking an extra hour to cuddle and read books out loud.  It can mean having a coloring contest or playing board games.  It can mean playing outside during school time and doing school during play time.

When life doesn’t go as planned I’m learning to roll with it.  I’m learning to be flexible and take it with a smile.  I’m learning to show grace and love to my kids and not let it make me upset.  When it makes me upset it makes them upset as well.  Then they’re going to act out and things are just going to go downhill from there.

Today life looks like me doing laundry.  Life is the kids and I working on cleaning the house while one child has an ear infection and one recuperating from having to have 10 baby teeth removed.  Life is crazy.  There is no school here this week.  We have a birthday for one child on Saturday.  Life is crazy here right now.  None of this is what I had planned.  My plans had to change.  At this exact moment my children are watching a Christmas movie.  I’m taking a few minutes to myself in between loads of laundry and cleaning rooms.  We’re remodeling our house.  It’s chaos.  This is not the life I had planned for myself.  This isn’t even what I was imagining today to be like yesterday!  When life doesn’t go as planned I’ve learned to roll with it.  There is always something I can find to do.  Always something that can occupy me.

When life doesn’t go as planned I have big kids read to little kids while I go through our book shelves and get rid of any that are falling apart from too much love or that I’m not even sure how they ended up on our shelves.  When life doesn’t go as planned I let the kids watch a movie if it’s not nice out or they’re sick and I sort out clothes that we don’t need.  And sometimes, when life doesn’t go as planned I might ask my children what they were really wanting to do.  You never know what they might say!  It may be a baking day or a coloring day or even a snuggle kind of day.

Other things I do to try to destress and calm my house are diffuse essential oils, bake some yummy treats, or use my citrus essential oils to clean with.  Anything to help get a pleasant aroma in the house that can help bring a calming atmosphere.  We also might put on some soothing classical music or some praise and worship songs.  Helping to redirect our focus is also a great thing.  We might have a nail spa day for the girls or a lego building day for the boys.

So just remember, when life doesn’t go as planned, it’s not the end.  It doesn’t mean that day is ruined.  It only means change gears and make that day the best you possibly can.


My family portrait

my family portrait

My Family Portrait

I had to share this family portrait that my soon to be 7 year old drew today.  My in laws got the kids three easels for Christmas this year( one per two kids for the older six–babies got wooden toys) and I finally put one together today.  Yes, I did, all by myself. . . . with a Dewalt. . . insert evil laugh. 

Oh wait now where was I.  Yes I put the easel together and B lost no time starting to create art.  She drew a family portrait of our family.  She even put initials above or below each character so we would know who was who.  To give you a clue about how old and such I’ll put initials under the picture with their ages.  B does say she wants to be an artist.  She put shoes, hats and scarves on each person!  My family portrait may just be one of my favorite art works of all time!

Clockwise from top left:
A- age 6
M- age 5
P- age 5
C- age 3
L- age 4
B- age 6(the artist herself)
F- 14 months
M-Mommy(that’s me!) umm I’m really short I guess
Z- 18 months
I’m surprised she didn’t put the dogs and cat on here!