Tuesday, March 9, 2010

First Grade Field Trip

One of the families in our homeschool group organizes trips to the Creation Museum. When I heard about the trip scheduled for this Spring and the great price they were able to offer, I wanted to take Noah. He's done so well in school this year, and I thought it would be neat to be able to take each one of the kids on a special field trip in 1st grade for some fun and one-on-one time. Gareth agreed, so I happily signed us up.

Noah spent February alternating between excitement about a "3-day date" with Mommy and tears because we weren't taking Daddy and Nathan and Rosie along. But, when we got down to the actual week of the trip, he was just sooo excited. He happily spent the last week doing extra jobs to earn spending money for his trip.

We met our bus EARLY last Thursday morning and headed out. We made it out of Oklahoma just fine. Unfortunately, about 3 hours in one of the other youngsters' stomachs revolted against the huge quantities of sugar he had ingested and he threw up EVERYWHERE. Not so great, but thankfully, generous quantities of Clorox Wipes, papertowels, and Lysol made the smell bearable, and we carried on into Missouri. We had a short break for lunch (McDonald's-blech!) and then carried on into St. Louis, where we had a stop at the Arch.
I was very grateful that Noah was content to stand at the bottom of the arch
and just enjoy looking up, instead of riding to the top. (I have been to the top of the Arch before and I did survive, but I definitely do not feel the need to do it again!!! Completely irrelevant to the topic at hand, but I wonder whether its' my advancing years or the addition of children for which I am responsible that has made me so aware of my own frailty and much more cautious than I used to be?)
Anyhow, we happily wandered under the arch and spent a happy afternoon touring the Museum of Westward Expansion. Noah loves this period of American history, and we have just finished reading all of Laura Ingalls Wilders' Little House books, so this was a great stop for us.

After we had finished the museum, we visited the shop set up like an 1800's mercantile and treated ourselves to a piece of stick candy. Then, while visiting the gift shop, Noah found a compass. He's wanted one for ages, so he used part of his spending money.
As we settled back on to the bus, he unwrapped his stick candy, leaned over for a hug, and told me he must be the most spoilt boy in the whole world to have McDonalds, a piece of candy, and a compass. Bless him-how I love this boy.
We passed the afternoon travelling through Illinois, visiting with friends, playing Hangman, and watching the compass. Noah's AWANA leader and his family were also on the bus, and so Noah was thrilled to have time to spend with "Mr. Shaun" who was very kind to Noah and spent time teaching him how to use the compass and talking to him about how to tell your direction when out in the woods.
After another very quick stop in Indiana for supper (McDonald's again-double blech!!!!!), it was back onto the bus. We didn't make our hotel until after 9:30. Noah was a real trooper. I think he did better than I did on the way over, but we were both glad to finally see our hotel. We quickly unpacked, Noah had a bubble bath, and then settled into bed for 20 minutes of Animal Planet tv before passing out.
The next morning, it was up bright and early to shower and get ready to head out for the day.
We had breakfast at the hotel and then loaded back onto the bus for the hours' drive into Kentucky.
We were at the Museum by 9:30, and I was looking forward to a day of walking and not having to sit!
The entrance hall was great. Noah was absolutely fascinated by the animatronic dinosaurs. One of the displays at the Museum of Westward Expansion had been down for maintenance, so I had been able to show him how they make the exhibits move, but he was still a little intimidated by the moving dinosaurs!
Here are some of our favorite moments from the day:
Touching a REAL fossil (notice that A Bunny had to touch it, too).

Seeing fossilized dinosaur eggs

Looking at the absolutely fabulous displays-Everything was so well done and the displays were great.
(Indeed, they were so lifelike that I had a much more difficult time getting Noah to stand beside the dinosaurs than I did getting him beside the other animals!)
Apart from the animatronics, Noah's favorite part was visiting the scale model of Noah's ark.

And, of course, standing beside the great hero of the faith that he was named for.
We had a break for a cup of tea and a cookie, and then it was on to the dinosaur hall. Just look at this big guy! We got to visit with the man who sculpted the dinosaurs for the museum, and he says it took 2 years to make this one!

This one was so cute, we thought it looked like it could have been a pet.

Dinosaur ride anyone?
In all seriousness, though, the museum was fantastic. Not just that the displays were well done and entertaining, but it was good to learn more about the evidence that is out there that supports the Biblical narration of Creation. Very thought-provoking stuff.
We had a nice lunch, and then headed outside to walk around and to visit the Petting Zoo. Noah had a great time feeding the animals (except for the camel which he insisted that I feed instead) and reading about the amazing designs that God has given each of the animals to enable them to live in their various environments.

Noah's favorite animal was, of course, a very fluffy bunny. Unfortunately, because the weather was quite cool, it was in an indoor enclosure behind plexi-glass that didn't allow us to get a good picture. But, his second favorite animal was this:
There's just something fun about being able to say "zorse" and "zonkey", so we spent a lot of time visiting the zorses and the zonkey.
Not all of the animals were quite so thrilled at being looked at.

We were at the Museum until 5:00 and then headed back to the hotel. After a quick supper of pizza, Noah and I grabbed swimsuits and headed for the pool. We swam for an hour and then headed up to shower off and catch a half-hour of Animal Planet before passing out.
Noah fell in love with hotel life. He has decided that he might like to live in a hotel someday, what with the tv watching while in bed, having someone to make the bed for you, the indoor swimming, and wandering downstairs for a buffet breakfast every morning!
It was up bright and early the next morning for a quick breakfast and then to pack up and load ourselves back on the bus. We were on the road by 8:30 and didn't make it back into Tulsa until after 9:30. It was a LONG day, but there was plenty of good conversation with fellow homeschooling Moms, and Noah finally stretched out and napped which helped him to pass the time.
We had a great time, and I would highly recommend a visit to the Creation Museum. Noah said that it was the favorite thing he's ever done, and I can't wait for Nathan to be ready for a 1st grade field trip. (I'm not sure I'll travel by bus, though!)

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