On These Pages Are The Stories Of Our Family We Go Together ! Welcome To The World As Viewed Through Our Eyes
Lynette .......... Caedmon .......... Libby .......... Tom

Monday, November 30, 2009

November in Review

Aunt Mary was here for a visit and left on November 1st. We started the month with some batting practice:

The weather was beautiful so we took every opportunity to be outside...
Mostly playing in the backyard...
But we also snuck in a few trips to the zoo:

Caedmon had a crafty playdate with his friends Stone and Grant and they made playdough turkeys. Fun was had by all! (mommy's photography skills leave something to be desired, though):

We also tried to practice being thankful. We learned Psalm 118:1: "Give thanks to the Lord for He is good, His love endures forever." And, we kept a large poster in the kitchen on which we wrote things for which we are thankful.

In mid-November, we were able to travel to Pennsylvania to see my family again.  The kids really enjoyed playing with grandparents and aunts.  And, Tom and I got a jump start on Christmas shopping!

Thanksgiving was low-key this year.  Tom and I cooked enough food to feed our family and lots more, but it was just us.  The kids LOVED the turkey...and Caedmon's favorite was homemade cranberry sauce.

We have so much for which to be thankful. The Lord has truly blessed us!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Creation Museum

Ever since we first read about the opening of the Creation Museum, we have been wanting to visit. We feel that seeing God as Creator of all is fundamental to our relationship with Him, and we desire to teach our children with that as one of the basic tenets of belief. How exciting to have a whole museum as one of the resources we use to teach our faith, especially since most other museums with exciting exhibits, such as dinosaurs, teach a much different message. Imagine the wonder and musing that man and dinosaurs co-existed together... in the beginning! Tom had vacation this month, and we had part of that time booked (with a trip to visit my family in PA). While there, Tom decided to check into a last minute trip to Kentucky for a Creation Museum adventure. We found good ticket prices and planned a whirlwind 48 hour trip to northern Kentucky just before Tom had to return to work.

Before our departure, Tom attempted to find some information about visiting. The Creation Museum has an excellent website with lots of details. However, every other site that Google brought up was a negative review written by scientists and/or atheists. It was interesting to hear their views and we looked forward to seeing the museum for ourselves. The scientists mostly disagreed with the "science" presented but we also read some negative comments about the "scare tactics" the museum used - such as, calling people sinful and presenting examples of the world's sin. One person said that she cried because she was thinking of how some parts of the museum would scare children. Tom and I decided to keep that in mind just in case...

Fairly quickly after arriving at the museum, we realized that our thoughts about the secular reviews of the museum were correct. It all boils down to worldview and belief. Of course, the things of God seem foolish to man - "But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised." 1 Corinthians 2:14. And contrary to those secular views, we were not asked to sign any forms about what we were or were not allowed to say (I'm not discrediting what others said but we did not have that particular requirement) nor did we notice any "Fort Knox" type security. The rod iron gate at the entrance is decorative, not jail-like. (Though, it looks like they lock it at night, but who wouldn't when you are in the middle of nowhere with property that you would want to keep safe.) The many people stationed around the museum were friendly and helpful and seemed more like docents than security guards. We had also read a lot about the crowds and how difficult it was to move through the museum. Since we went on a Friday, it was not bad at all. There were people from all over the country and all walks of life visiting. Saturday, it was a little more crowded but still tolerable, especially since we had already seen the museum the day before. Some of the museum workers even remembered us from the day before and said hi to us during our 2nd day.

We started our tour at the Planetarium, which was a great display of God's creativity as we looked at stars and planets, galaxies and more. Libby didn't last too long, but Caedmon enjoyed it. Although, he was perplexed at how it was possible to feel like we were traveling through space. In the middle of the planetaruim experience, Caedmon exclaimed out loud to the woman sitting next to us, "I wanna go to space!"

After the planetarium, we walked through the main part of the museum. It basically told the story of Creation, Fall, Redemption. A lot of the displays presented the secular view of an idea next to a Biblical perspective. Since we had two small children with us, Tom and I didn't get to read or watch (there were lots of videos) as much as we may have liked, but overall, we felt that the information was presented well. The exhibits were beautiful with a mix of photographs, life-size scenes, dioramas and videos. Caedmon was awed by the dinosaurs.

In the garden of Eden:

Noah's Ark:

Tower of Babel:


We were also able to enjoy two presentations (there are several offered throughout the day - some free and some with a small cost). On Friday, Caedmon & I went to a "Bugs in the Bible" presentation for 3-8 year olds. It was really well done. The young man who led the program did a better job than a lot of the librarians at the local story times around home. He talked to the kids about how God created so many amazing things - even bugs - and he read two Christian story books that featured bugs. Caedmon really enjoyed the presentation. He was the youngest in the audience but all of the kids were captivated and participated well. On Saturday, we went to a snake talk/presentation. It was also very well done. The man who presented had a wide array of reptiles - snakes, lizards and turtles. He shared interesting information and there was lots of hands on touching of the animals, which, C thought was very cool. Again, the theme was that God is a creative Creator and His beauty and creativity is seen all throughout creation. We even got to pose with a live giant bald python (what a shame in the picture the head of the snake cannot be seen as it had slithered behind Tom's back!)

Besides the actual museum building, the Creation Museum also has a beautifully landscaped exterior which includes a "botanical garden" with trails, a pond and even a swinging bridge. There is also a small petting zoo with both traditional and exotic animals - everything from sheep to wallabies to a zorse and a zonkey (zebras bred with a horse/donkey). At the zoo, there were workers who shared information about the animals. Caedmon enjoyed seeing the animals...Libby is still trying to decide what she thinks of anything furry (including stuffed animals). Walking through the gardens was also a great way to burn off the kids' excess energy.

The museum also houses a large bookstore, which has an abundance of resources. They were not all about Creation, either. They had books and curriculums for homeschooling, marriage books, and much more.

We really enjoyed our visit and plan to make the trip again...and again. We feel that as the kids grow, they will take more and more with them from each visit. It's a neat opportunity for them to see that it's not just mom and dad who believe this stuff, and perhaps get something more from the various media used to present a Biblical view of Creation.

Here are a few logistical insights, in case someone who reads this decides to make the trip:

We flew in to the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky airport, which is actually in Kentucky (we didn't realize that until we were landing!). The Creation Museum is only a short drive from the airport (10 minutes or less). We stayed in an airport hotel, which was only 2 minutes from the airport and also convenient to the museum. We'd do it the same way again next time. There's not much in the immediate vicinity besides the airport and hotel but Cincinnati is only a 15 minute drive and our hotel gave us a list of restaurants that were within a few minutes drive of the hotel. We didn't end up eating at any of them, though. The museum has decent food at prices that are fairly reasonable for that kind of entertainment venue (a pint of milk cost only $0.76). We ate 3 of 4 meals there and the final dinner was pizza delivered to the hotel. It was surprisingly one of the best pizzas we had ever eaten! At the museum, we bought a 2 day pass. It only cost about $8 more per person. Kids under 5 are free. They offer a lifetime membership, which includes 4 free reusable passes. Since we are planning to return several times throughout the kids' childhood, we are considering purchasing this for one of the children because it will probably save money in the long run. They even have strollers to borrow with a $5 deposit. We didn't take this option because the website says they are on a "first come, first serve" basis and we didn't want to be stuck without one. However, they had more than enough available so in the future we may use that option. We saw most of what we wanted to see on day 1 (arrived at 11 am and stayed until 4:30 - ate both lunch and dinner there). However, it was nice to know we didn't have to rush and take everything in on the first day; instead, having the opportunity to go back and explore a bit more in depth the subsequent day.

On day 2, we only stayed until lunch time so we still had several hours to use. We drove in to Cincinnati to the Museum Center at Union Terminal, which is the Science, History and Children's museums (and an IMAX theater) all housed in their beautiful converted old central train station. The museums were very high quality with tons of hands on stuff for kids, even moreso than the Creation Museum. Of course, the science museum is a complete opposite view of the world from the Creation Museum, but it would be a great way to educate kids on the different ideas and how to defend one's faith. That was one major thing that Tom and I took away from the secular scientists' perspectives we read and listened to online. In educating our kids, we want them to be well-versed in the secular ideas of evolution in such a way that they will be able to defend their views against them without sounding uninformed. We don't want them to go to college, finding themselves ridiculed and feeling that we have only told them half of the story or only their parents' religious beliefs. Once they are in a high school or college classroom, they will need to understand and excel in all scientific theories (not necessarily accept them but understand them). We want them to value the truths that are in science but also recognize those aspects that are simply unproven theories. Since man was created in the image of God, He has endowed mankind with great intellect. The discoveries of modern science, technology, and medicine are capable of truly amazing things. When our children are released from the shelter of home and living independently in the world, they should be able to intelligently function in society, whether the science classroom or the workplace, while hopefully, accepting and defending their personal faith from a Christian worldview.

We count our trip as a complete success (except for Libby's poor sleeping in the hotel!). We look forward to many future trips to the Creation Museum. Besides documenting this trip for our family history, we also hope that by sharing our positive experience at the Creation Museum, others might be encouraged to make a visit there. It was frustrating for us to not be able to find any positive reviews as we were planning our trip. Our hope is that our experience may serve as a positive resource for others.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

More...More...More C-boyisms

C: Why did spiderman get bit by a spider?
I give a general explanation about being in a science lab and the spider biting him.
C: No. I think it was because he didn't wear a bug band.

C: When I grow up, I will get a job. I will be Daddy's work friend. Sometimes, I will let Daddy stay home to keep you company and I will go to work by myself. If I need help at work, I will ask one of Daddy's other work friends to help me.

After reading a bedtime story, I Love You the Purplest by Barbara Joose...
Tom: Caedmon, do you love Mommy the purplest?
C: No, I love her the greenest because green is my favorite color.

C to me: Are you SURE you know how to get to E's house? This doesn't look like the same way.
Me: Yes, I know how to get there. This is the same road we always drive to get there.
C: Well, I didn't see all of these things the last time. I must have been too excited. I'm not so excited this time.

At the Creation Museum, Caedmon & I went to a kids' story time about "bugs in the Bible." The presenter passed out a paper with Bible references for verses that talk about bugs. The presenter said, "Here is a paper that will help you find the bugs in your Bible." Caedmon loudly replied, "There are no bugs in my Bible!"
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