Monday, June 27, 2016

A Vote for Independence

Independence Day is next week! The day on which we celebrate our freedom, we celebrate becoming the greatest nation on earth.

Freedom is not free. It came at a great cost. The founders pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor for the freedom of this nation. They gave up so much so that we could be free. We must never forget, never stop fighting for America.

I encourage you to watch this video from HBO's John Adams. We watch it every year. It reminds us what freedom really means. (All the videos from John Adams had the embed code disabled, so click the video or the link beneath it to go to YouTube.)

 And for laughs about America's "break up" with England, check out this video. ;)

Monday, June 20, 2016

A Visit to the Creation Museum

Before I get started, I'm starting an email list for special announcements and quarterly newsletters, which will begin in July if I can get it all prepared by then. Use the form in the sidebar or hop over to the "Contact" page to sign up.

The week of Memorial Day, my family visited the Creation Museum. It is owned by Answers in Genesis, a ministry founded by Ken Ham. Having read a lot of Answers in Genesis books plus other Creation science books for school and just because they're awesome, I knew a lot of what the museum taught, but it's so much more amazing to see it in front of your eyes. They take you through the first 11 chapters of Genesis, showing you the story, showing how it is backed up by archaeology and geology, and answering common and not-so-common questions.

The mysteries of Creation are so vast and wonderful. I love it. They have two planetarium shows as well, one about aliens (fact or fiction?) and one on the Created Cosmos. The Created Cosmos one just blew my mind. How anyone can believe all of this vast, amazing, intricate universe came about by accident is beyond me. This place is so highly recommended. Pictures once more courtesy of my mom and sisters. Scripture quotations are from the ESV.

In the lobby, they have displays talking about dragon legends from around the world, and how they were probably because of dinosaurs. This is some of my favorite stuff, people. I was so excited.

The "Lucy" display. Showing how evidence suggests she is really just an extinct version of the gorilla. On the back side, they have a display showing how different skin tones, eyes, and hair patterns can make this exact facial structure look more like a gorilla or more like a human.

Ways people attack Christianity.

The true key to the past.

 And the LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed.

 And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.

 Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him."....And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man....Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.

Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?”

So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.

  And the LORD God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them. Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—” therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.

With sin came death for all creatures.

We all got a laugh out of this sign. :)

And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and a killed him. Then the LORD said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?” And the LORD said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground. And now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand.

 And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. And God said to Noah,“I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make yourself an ark of gopher wood. Make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and out with pitch.

 For behold, I will bring a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life under heaven. Everything that is on the earth shall die. But I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you. And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every sort into the ark to keep them alive with you. They shall be male and female.

The full scale replica of the Ark is scheduled to open July 7.

 The waters prevailed above the mountains, covering them fifteen cubits deep. And all flesh died that moved on the earth, birds, livestock, beasts, all swarming creatures that swarm on the earth, and all mankind. Everything on the dry land in whose nostrils was the breath of life died. He blotted out every living thing that was on the face of the ground, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens. They were blotted out from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those who were with him in the ark.

This is an actual dinosaur fossil.

This is its body, with a fake head, since the real one is too heavy. It's fairly complete, comparatively speaking, but still many of the bones are not real fossils. 

Geology and more recent smaller scale disasters help to prove the Biblical flood account.

Somehow we don't have any pictures of the stuff on Babel?

 The 7C's


 Because none of this means anything if it doesn't point you to Christ and the Cross, the eternal salvation God offers as a free gift through Christ Jesus, our Lord.

Our least favorite thing about the Creation Museum...we don't have enough money to buy everything in the gift shop.

My mom's purchases.

And mine.

The Creation Museum was truly an amazing experience. If you ever get the chance, you must visit. It is well worth it.

Monday, June 13, 2016

A Visit to Conner Prairie

My family and I went to Indiana over Memorial Day weekend. My dad and youngest sister went to the Indianapolis 500 while my mom, middle sister, and I visited family. And then we went to Conner Prairie and the Creation Museum. I'll talk about the Creation Museum (which was AMAZING!) next week.

You may not have heard of Conner Prairie. It's the most amazing living history museum. If you like history at all, or even if you don't, you have to go. You'll love it. It's in Indiana, and actually provided inspiration for Margaret Peterson Haddix's Running Out Of Time. (Pictures courtesy of my mom and sister. I'm not much of a photographer.)

This is the Conner house. It was built in 1823 by William Conner and restored both in 1934 and 1993. William Conner married an Indian woman. They had children, but she and her children moved on with the tribe (the children would have been able to become chiefs) and he was remarried to a white woman.

Before stepping back in time...the sheep sure know how to stay cool.

I may have a slight obsession with spinning and weaving. I seriously want one of these. A spinning wheel too. Conner Prairie has spinning programs and they compete in Sheep to Shawl.

Going back...

...and back...

...and back...

...and back... Prairietown, 1836.

The physician invited us into his home where he explained his job to us. These people literally act like they live in 1836. Their job is to pretend they live in a pioneer town. How cool is that?

He also showed us his live leeches.

And Addy played Canon in D on his (out of tune) piano for his family.

Across the street where he dries his herbs...this prompted an impromptu singing of Studio C's "Gale's Song."
"We use our special pet names.
I call her Catnip,
She calls me 'Gale.' "

This lady showed us how to make a trellis.

These are breath mints. Mashed peppermint leaves and sugar, drying in the sun.

The carpenter. Oh my goodness. Since my sister and I are 20 and 17, both marriageable ages in 1836, and unattached, he tried to set us up with his sons, who were "working on their farm" a few miles away. It was pretty funny, especially when he asked me if I could sew, my middle sister if she could garden, and my youngest sister if she could cook...our strengths exactly.

Me apparently trying to break my neck or twist my ankle or something.

My dad and youngest sister doing the same.

The potter making a little toy jug. On an old fashioned pottery wheel, they have a lower wheel that they kick to make the upper wheel spin. Then they shape it the same way a modern potter would. I've taken a few pottery classes, so I know how to do it, but I'm nowhere near as good. Oh, and the pottery they sell at Colonial Williamsburg? Made here. Or at least it was when we visited almost 7 years ago.

This is the inn. I love how they ran out of room for "Golden" so they put the "n" beneath the rest of the word. They invited us to stay and told us when dinner would be and what they were cooking. The meal costs 25¢.

Look at those prices!

This is the main room upstairs. They had two more, one with one bed, one with two. Straw ticks resting on ropes stretched across the bed frame, rough woven blankets, and quite a few chamber pots.

The schoolhouse. I love how they put a Bible verse on the board.

This is the store. So many things to buy! The chocolate didn't have any sugar, though.

The. Low. Prices. The calico was like 25¢ per yard. Nowadays it's more like $7-$10.

Even the postal rates were insanely low.

People literally crossed the country in these. Standing inside a real covered wagon really puts things into perspective...and takes a lot of the glamor out of the Oregon Trail.

The blacksmith's apprentice. Blacksmithing seems to be one of the most common reenactor skills, so I've seen it quite a bit, but it's always cooler when the blacksmith is actually acting like he lives in those times.

They've also added a Civil War area since I was there last. There weren't as many reenactors over there, I guess they don't have enough staff. Apparently the Confederates burned Dupont, Indiana, in July of 1863. It was interesting, but...I grew up along the route of Sherman's March to the Sea, across the street from the train line used during the Great Locomotive Chase. Way more Civil War history at home, and really, as far as town burnings go, the South had it way worse.

Conner Prairie is so awesome. If you're ever in Indiana (when they're open), you HAVE to visit. You won't regret it.

Don't forget, Creighton Hill is only 99¢ this summer, and if you write a Goodreads or blog review, you can enter to win a $100 Amazon gift card from!