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Month: July 2018

Day 27 – The Creation Museum

Day 27 – The Creation Museum

*Sidenote – some unexpected medical issues have caused this delay in finishing out the blog for our trip*

This morning, we overslept.  As I bolted up in bed, I knew that we were late.  Jimmy had set the alarm for 6:26 p.m., instead of 6:26 a.m.  Oh boy!

We rushed out the door because we had a two hour and twenty-minute drive to meet Jimmy’s parents at The Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky.

The light drizzle turned into a harder rain as we crossed the Ohio River into the state of Kentucky.  The Creation Museum is just over the Ohio border.

Nate from the backseat, “You know, I can only last about an hour and a half at a museum.”

Me – “Don’t worry, Nate.  The museum is only open until 6 p.m.”  Hee, hee, hee, hee…

The good news…Nate saw some bass swimming in the stream that winded through the gardens leading to the Museum.  No, Nate, you can’t fish here.  But at least it was something familiar at a musseeuuum (eye roll).

We met up with Jimmy’s dad, Jim,  just inside the door of the museum.  Jimmy’s mom, Diana, was able to rent an electric scooter to get around as she waited to have knee surgery.  There is certainly a learning curve with driving a scooter, especially through crowds of people.  More on that later…

We met Diana in the Legacy Hall where she was watching a Southern Gospel concert.  Just outside the Legacy Hall, is a large bookstore.  It’s a dangerous place for me.  I love books!

The other interesting thing about the bookstore – it smelled like chocolate!  At the edge of the bookstore, they wisely placed a fudge shop – Uncle Leroy’s Fudge.  Books and chocolate – one of my favorite combinations.

From there, we made our way to the Upper Level where the exhibits begin.  I took the stairs with some of the kids while several others accompanied Nana (Diana) with her scooter on the elevator.

We met on the upper level where the other group had quite a story to tell.  Remember, we talked about the learning curve for driving a scooter?  Here’s the story I was told…

Like we all would do, someone in the group pushed the “up” arrow to call the elevator.  All of a sudden, the scooter started driving forward without Diana doing anything.  The scooter had thick wheels that easily get traction.  In this case, the wheels got traction on the outside of the elevator door.  The scooter was actually driving up the door.  Luke and Jim jumped into action by pulling the scooter back against the motor that was driving it forward.  It turns out that their long umbrella had gotten stuck and was pushing the forward lever on the scooter.  Once the umbrella was dislodged, Diana stopped climbing the door just in time for it to open.  Crisis averted!

On to the exhibits…

The whole museum is organized around eight stages of biblical history:












The exhibits are well-done, with some very life-like characters making appearances.

Here’s Seth with Isaiah, Moses, and King David.

There is a free enhanced audio tour that you can access on your phone but my cell service wasn’t great in the museum so the tour audio was hit or miss.

We also got to see some cool dinosaurs.  They have some good exhibits explaining the existence of dinosaurs before and after the flood.

I also enjoyed some of the exhibits that explained natural wonders like the Grand Canyon and how it can best be explained by a catastrophic flood as opposed to erosion over long periods of time.

We also got to see Noah working on the Ark as he witnessed to onlookers about the pending flood.


After a nice lunch at The Noah’s Ark Café, some strange guy got a hold of the scooter.  We were ready to call Security.

One highlight of the whole museum was Dr. Crawley’s Insectorium.  Seth, our 4th grader, just finished his school insect report so the displays were especially interesting to him.

God’s creativity in some of his smallest creations is remarkable!


At the end of the museum, they had some very well-done exhibits explaining the gospel – obviously the most important and life-changing part of God’s story.

After exiting the main part of the museum, we did enjoy meandering through the lush gardens that they’ve planted outside.


Overall, we enjoyed The Creation Museum.  I was disappointed, though, that there wasn’t more to see.  The onsite Planetarium costs more money on top of the already expensive ticket.  I think that the Planetarium should be included in the cost of your ticket.  Also, the Special Effects theater was closed for renovation while we were there.  We would have enjoyed a few more interactive shows and/or video opportunities.  But all in all, I would recommend taking a trip to The Creation Museum with your family.

Since the museum closed at 6 p.m., we were able to order some take-out dinner to eat at the hotel and get some much-needed rest.

Thank you, Lord, for reminding us today that your plan from the beginning has been one of rescue and restoration.

Day 26 – Columbus, Ohio with Old Friends

Day 26 – Columbus, Ohio with Old Friends

After two long days of traveling, it was nice to stay put in our friend’s house.  Jimmy and I even had our own room – apart from the kids.  What a treat!

After staying up until midnight to catch up with our friends, my fishing-obsessed husband got up at 5 a.m. for the first of two fishing trips for the day.  Our friend, George, has a boat but it can only legally hold 4-5 people.  They would take Nate and Seth out on the first trip, then Luke and George’s son, Noah, out on the evening trip.

Meanwhile, I slept in until 9:30 a.m.  It was so refreshing.

Afterwards, I spent the time just reconnecting with my friend Rebecca.

They have three kids – ages 19, 14, and 6.  Their 6-year old daughter was a sweet surprise to their family.

This was our first time meeting her in person.



On the morning fishing trip, Seth caught 10 fish and Nate caught 9 fish.

They caught hybrid stripers, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, sunfish, and the biggest catch of the day – a 49”, 30 lb. muskie.

George is good at documenting his fishing trips.  He texted Rebecca a picture of the fish and she showed me.  When I saw it, I said, “What is that – the Lochness Monster?”

I’d never seen a fish that enormous.

You can see how excited George and Jimmy were.

The boys brought the fish home, cleaned it, and fried it.  It was a nice, late lunch for all these fish lovers.  Just after lunch, all the kids had a water balloon fight.  Once the water balloons were exhausted, they just threw cups of water on each other – resourcefulness!


During the afternoon, I washed and dried about four loads of laundry.  I was thankful to get our clothes clean for the last few days of the trip.  Jimmy and George took naps to get recharged for the evening fishing trip.  At the same time, very intense thunderstorms moved through the area.  The evening fishing trip was up in the air.

Somehow around 5:30 p.m., the sky cleared and Jimmy, George, Noah, and Luke left for the lake.  They didn’t catch as many fish but overall, they had a great time together.

As the boys were leaving the lake, they walked by a dumpster where they heard some rustling noises. As they peered over the edge of the dumpster with their flashlight, two sets of bright eyes shone back at them.  Two racoons were stuck at the bottom.  Noah and Luke had the ingenious idea of putting a large tree branch into the dumpster as a ladder for the racoons.  Sure enough, as soon as they saw the log, the racoons climbed up and out of the dumpster.  Mission accomplished!

That evening, we had a wonderful dinner of tacos – including a Chipolte copycat cilantro-lime rice Rebecca made in her pressure cooker.  The rice was out so delicious that I kept going back for more even after I was done with the tacos.

We spent the night reviewing old fishing videos and recounting all the crazy fishing experiences George and Jimmy had together.  So many fun memories!

George was Jimmy’s first real accountability partner and the friend that helped him dream about starting Men of Armor, our family’s current ministry.  He helped Jimmy write and craft some of our first Men of Armor resources.  It was such a joy to reconnect our families.  We’re so thankful to God for their friendship and how it has shaped our lives and even our vocation.  Men of Armor is now eight years old and God is using the ministry to change so many people’s lives for Him and His glory.  Thank you, Lord, for bringing George and Rebecca into our lives all those years ago and encouraging them to invest in the Kingdom work you were beginning.

Day 25 – Des Moines, Iowa to Columbus, Ohio

Day 25 – Des Moines, Iowa to Columbus, Ohio

This is going to be short.  Today, we drove and drove and drove…

We had arrived in Des Moines around 3 a.m. and left the hotel this morning at 7 a.m. after scarfing down breakfast.  We had a ten-hour drive, not counting in any bathroom or food stops or the hour time change we anticipated.  It was going to be a long day in the van.  Like I said in my earlier blog, we knew these two long days of driving were coming.  We had to push at the end of our trip to get home by the end of the four weeks.

Our goal was to get to our friend’s house in Columbus for a late dinner.  Originally, our next stop was to be the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky.  But when we heard that my friend, Rebecca, would be out-of-town if we came later in the week, we switched our itinerary.  We’d drive farther east to make sure we saw her and then head back west to the Creation Museum.

We took 80 east through Iowa.  The state reminded me of Arkansas – miles and miles of cornfields as far as the eye could see.

Near LeClaire, Iowa (home of the original store of the History Channel’s American Pickers), we crossed back over the Mississippi River and entered Illinois on the other side.

As we drove through Illinois and Indiana, we saw that the highways we drove on were in desperate need of repair.  Still more cornfields though.  I guess we produce and consume a lot of corn in the U.S.A.

Eventually, we did “lose” an hour as we drove back into our home time zone – the Eastern Time Zone.

At one point as Emma Grace drove, Jimmy and I sat in the backseat and imitated the kids:

“How much time do we have left?”

“I have no room back here!”

“Get your feet off my pillow!”

“You’re crushing my stuff!”

“Where’s my charger?  You took my charger!”

We thought we were pretty funny.  The kids chuckled a little too.

In Richmond, Indiana – we passed a huge billboard that read, “Jesus is the answer America.”  AMEN!

Today was a two Redbox movie day.  Thankfully, you can take Redbox movies across state lines.  These movies would end up three states east.

We finally arrived in Columbus at our friend’s house at 9 p.m. where they made us a great homemade dinner – spaghetti pie, salad, and bread.  We were so hungry.

But the best part was seeing our old friends after so many years.  George and Rebecca lived in NC, were in our church small group, and moved away for his job 10 years ago.  It was so fun to see their kids grown up and for them to see our kids.  That’s been one of my favorite parts of this trip – spending time with old friends.

We stayed up until midnight (even though we were exhausted) chatting and catching up.  Thankfully, we had another day tomorrow to enjoy with them.  As one of Jimmy’s favorite fishing buddies, tomorrow was sure to be a good day to make some more fishing memories.

Thank you, Lord, for reuniting us with dear friends.  As Rebecca said, “Even though it’s been 10 years, it feels like 10 minutes.”