Saturday, November 26, 2016

Touring Adventures in ODYSSEY

Going back many months...When we planned the big road trip out west, we knew we had to somehow tour through Colorado and stop in at Focus on the Family Headquarters. How many miles have we spent in the van, listening to Adventures in Odyssey? I don't know- a lot. I also know that it has broken up fights of boys clobbering each other in the back seat of the van and there is a silence and stillness that Adam and I treasure as soon as the familiar Adventure in Odyssey tune starts up.

We almost didn't make it to Focus on the Family with Andrew's accident. We had planned to tour Focus on Monday afternoon and catch the plane ride home on Tuesday morning. On Monday morning, the nurses said Andrew would be discharged from the hospital but we needed a Dr's signature first. The neuro surgeon who had been taking care of Andrew was called into emergency surgery and so we sat and waited. By lunch time our chance of being discharged on time to make it to the Focus on the Family Headquarters before they closed was very slim. Andrew started crying and so did I. This was a huge disappointment. We prayed about it together and then the nurse walked in with the papers. What relief and thankfulness!
At Whits' End we ordered the WADFAMCHOCSOD, tasting better than how they describe it!
We toured through the Town of Odyssey, taking a ride in the Imagination Station.
We hit the Focus on the Family Bookstore where I could of camped for the night.
And then the best thing happened. The staff at Focus, after hearing about Andrew's accident, arranged for us to have a special tour with the producer of Adventures in Odyssey, Nathan Hoobler.
We were led to the back of the building into a medium sized room. Here is where they would make all of the sound effects for each episode of Adventures in Odyssey. The flooring in the room was made up of patches of hardwood, carpet, gravel, brick, and dirt. There was an assortment of squeaky chairs and doors. Nathan spent an hour of his time showing us the different items they use to make the sound effects. Even a simple bag of corn starch was used to make the sound of someone walking on packed snow. It was captivating!
Shake the metal cart and it become the Imagination Station! Behind Tyler are the characters' different shoes. Who do you think wears the cowboy boots?
The small spot of counter where Liam is, makes all of the noise for the café.
Nathan is holding Mr. Whittaker's shoes.

A better glimpse of the "Imagination Station."
A close up of Mr. Whittaker's shoes.
Nathan Hoobler sent us home with a big, thick book of behind the scenes of Odyssey, and many CDs to listen to.
Touring through the Focus on the Family building, spending time at Whit's End, and having this special tour was a huge highlight for our family. We didn't see as much of Colorado as we would of liked to, but we were thankful for this time and very thankful that we had our family all back together again. We were ready to head home.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016


The title of this book is a misnomer but this book is right up there in style and accuracy. The author skillfully weaves many historical stories together creating a master piece detailing the horrible atrocity of the holocaust. The author gives many glimpse into the life of FDR, but he offers so much more with the background to WW2, the behind scenes of his cabinet, and the pulse of the American people during the war. The book doesn't spare the reader with the vileness of the war. At times the absolute horribleness of that time was simply too much to read in one sitting.
A book, I haven't read yet, but enjoyed by Adam. Jon Meacham is a first class author.
This book was bought by my uncle, borrowed by my dad, recommended by my dad to Adam, and Adam heartedly recommends it. Apparently this fascinating, well-written book details the history of Lincoln's time like no-other, and gives a vivid portrait of the character of Lincoln, and his cabinet.
Here is a review from amazon. 
"This book is a good book for any mother who is trying to decide how to implement Bible reading with her children. The author is funny and gives some great ideas on ways to make reading the Bible interesting for your children. Her personal examples are what make the book worth reading. I enjoyed her sense of humor and also liked her simple ideas. Seeing the effect of reading the Bible with your children is the goal the author asks you to set. Although that sounds easy, after reading this book you will understand that it will take some effort on your part. I especially enjoyed the discussion questions available for each chapter. I thought they were well thought out and really made you think about what you had just read."

This easy to read book, is well worth it. I was challenged and encouraged by the author.

I wanted to know a little more about our PM. Trudeau writes about his growing up years, what it was like to be a PM's kid, the death of his brother, his jobs before PM, and how he met his wife. I enjoyed reading about the politics behind the scenes. This book gives some insight into his life, but it is written with "you may be a potential voter" attitude.
"Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World" is one of the best parenting books I have read. In a "me-absorbed" society, this book does a fantastic job helping parents battle against entitlement.
But before we begin the battle with our children, the author addresses the parent..."parents who want to raise more grateful kids need to start by living more grateful lives."
Kristen Welch gives the reader the big picture with the help of practical tips. She outlines smart choices about technology, and she places a big emphasize on service throughout the book. At the end of each chapter she makes suggestions broken in to appropriate stages: toddlers/preschoolers; elementary; tween/teen; and parents. I highly recommend this book.