More Fun in Zanesville – Ohio

Russo's Pizza Ohio

On January 16, we went to The Works, which is a museum in Newark, Ohio, with interactive exhibits on science, the history of the area, and other things.  The museum had cool simulators, two car simulators, and one airplane simulator.  For a lot of the time, us four kids used the car driving simulators, which really challenged our attention and reflex skills while driving.

There was a glassblowing demonstration, where a glassblower with 40 years of experience demonstrated to us how he makes a glass olive oil dispenser.  We watched him take molten glass onto a metal rod, make it expand, and shape it into a bottle.  He even added colored pieces of glass and texture to the bottom half of the bottle.  It was very cool to watch.

Also, we went to the planetarium show, where we watched a show on other planets and galaxies.  According to the show, scientists are trying to find another planet like Earth that can support life, but haven’t been able to yet, given that Earth is such a unique planet, and it has so many factors that make it able to support life.  Earth is just the perfect distance from our sun, is able to trap the perfect amount of heat to sustain life, and has the perfect atmosphere, air, and temperature.  No other planet has been found that has the same conditions.  I think this shows just how intricate our world is.  This proves just how precisely God has planned everything, making Earth just the right place for humans to live.

Before going to the museum, we went to a restaurant called Skorpios Gyros (for lunch), which had Greek food:

Another day, we went to Russo’s Wood Fired Pizza and ate pizza for lunch:

Of course, in all these places, they were taking precautions to prevent COVID-19 from spreading, including wearing masks, using plexiglass, wiping/cleaning everything, and only letting a certain amount of people into closed spaces at one time.

Zanesville – Ohio

Zanesville

In the last blog post, I wrote about the RV park we were staying at.  Well, this RV park had a few trails that were very pretty, so with our new bikes (some of which my brothers had bought, and another which the owner of the RV park gave to us), we explored the trails.

Fall in Zanesville is very pretty.  There are beautiful red, orange, yellow, and pinkish trees.  In Zanesville, we went to a roadside farmer’s stand, where they sold produce.  We also went to a weenie roast event with the Hoffmans, where we roasted hotdogs and my brothers participated in a cupcake eating contest.

We see the Hoffmans a lot to evangelize and fellowship with them.  For evangelism, we go door to door and talk with the people we meet about the gospel.  One day while we were evangelizing, a stray cat followed us to the Hoffman’s house, where my brothers pet and played with it.  We named her S.C. (stray cat), but we haven’t played with her again, but we have seen other cats that look like her around the neighborhood.  At the Hoffman’s house, we eat and sing together.  Us children like to climb the trees in the front and back yard and give the Hoffmans’ kids rides on our backs (hence the picture of Aiden with the two oldest Hoffman kids on his back).

For Tanner’s 10th birthday, September 28, we ate cake and gave him presents.  Some things he got were painting supplies, rock painting kits, and a bike.  We video called our family in Hawaii who got to sing to Tanner and talk with all of us.  It was nice to see our family on the video calls.

stinkbug

Oh, and here’s a pesky insect that we found was planning on hibernating in our RV for the winter.  It’s the brown marmorated stink bug.  There were tons of them in our RV slides which came out when we recently moved our RV (we killed them), and I’m guessing that there are dozens more still.  When they are dying, they release a stench, which smells like stinky watermelon.  It turns out that our pets don’t like the smell.  Tennessee, our kitten, was playing with one and got sprayed and ran away, and another stinkbug sprayed my bed where Ruby usually naps, and Ruby avoided sleeping there for a while.

Back in Ohio to Stay – Indiana and Ohio

“Back in Ohio to stay…wait, did she write stay?”  Yes, I did.  As a matter of fact, we are planning to stay in or near Zanesville, Ohio, by our friends, the Hoffmans (I wrote about them in this post).  Some reasons for this choice is wanting to fellowship with likeminded believers in Christ and to share the good news of the Gospel with people in this area.  But more on that later.

On the way to Zanesville, we stopped at George Rogers Clark National Historical Park in Vincennes, Indiana.  George Clark was the older brother of the famous William Clark (if you don’t know who that is, maybe the phrase “Lewis and Clark” will trigger your memory).  George Clark is known mostly for his success in gaining the Northeast territory for America, from the British.

In the late 1700’s, the British claimed land west of the Appalachian Mountains and proclaimed that no one should settle in the land there.  When settlers did not listen, and the Revolutionary War was intensifying, the British sent Native American groups to fight the disobedient people.  As a result, George Clark took a party of Kentucky militia to fight back where the raids were happening the most.  This went on for a while, but when Clark learned that the British would be attacking in the spring, he organized a group of tough, persistent Americans and Frenchmen to travel through the freezing, flooded lands of Illinois to get to the British fort of Hamilton, believed to have been where the park now is – Indiana.  They captured the fort, the British surrendered, and the British had been stopped from achieving their goal of stopping Americans from gaining the Northwest.

The park had a very tall memorial that was circular, made of granite.  According the the NPS website, it is 80 feet tall, 90 feet wide, and the walls are two feet thick.  Steps led to the memorial’s inside, where a statue of Clark stood, just a bit taller than he was in real life, and seven murals painted on Belgium linen lined the walls, depicting Clark’s mission.  The memorial was completed in 1933.

We took much longer than we’d expected to get to the Hoffman’s house, due to traffic, bumpy roads, and construction.  We arrived around 10 o’clock, but we took long to park.  The neighborhood had steep streets and narrow roads lined with vehicles, which made it difficult to navigate the area.  We got stuck a few times, had to ask neighbors to move their vehicles, and in the end, we couldn’t make it into the Hoffmans’ driveway.  The neighbors were really nice and accomodating, and the people at the bar down the road offered to move their vehicles out of a parking lot so we could park there.  We parked, but the space was too unlevel to take out our slides, so we stayed in the Hoffmans’ house for the night.

The next day, we moved to Campers Grove RV Park in Hopewell, Ohio, about 10 minutes away from the Hoffmans.  We are here right now (check the published date at the top to make sure you don’t get confused when “now” is), and we plan on staying here until we can find some land to buy.

More updates will come later!

Butterfly Metamorphosis

Monarch Butterfly

We got three monarch butterfly caterpillars in Michigan (I wrote about them briefly in an older post).  We named them Big Billy Buchanan, Bibimbap, and Busy Bee.  Now, here’s what happened to each one.  By the way, I don’t know the genders of any of the insects.  I am guessing.

Big Billy Buchanan was the biggest caterpillar.  He ate and grew, and eventually, he turned into a chrysalis and emerged as a monarch butterfly.  He was the first of the three to come out.  He took a while to dry, and when he felt like it, he flew out the window in Wisconsin, glided for a few seconds, then landed in the grass.  He stayed there for a few hours and left towards nightfall.

Busy Bee was the second largest caterpillar.  She ate and grew bigger, but while she was hanging upside-down, turning into a chrysalis, she died.  It was a short but sweet life.  RIP, Busy Bee.

Bibimbap was the smallest of the three.  She ate and grew, and after a while, turned into a chrysalis and became a monarch butterfly the day after we arrived in Zanesville, Ohio.  When Bibimbap emerged, she took off quickly.

Here is a slideshow of the butterflies, from when we found them on a plant in Michigan and took them home in a red plastic cup, to when they became full grown butterflies and flew away.

Food – Wisconsin, Missouri, and Ohio

spam musabis

Here are pictures of food that we ate mostly in St. Louis or with the Hoffmans.  You can also see the cheeses and salami that we got from Wisconsin.  The main picture above is of spam musubis (in this case, spam fried in teriyaki sauce, sandwiched between two blocks of rice, wrapped in nori or sprinkled with sesame seeds) that Uncle Dean made when we were visiting him and other family in Missouri.

Food – Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio

Here are the few pictures that I have of the food that we ate while in these three states.  An interesting dish in Cincinnati is their chili.  Compared to chili that we normally eat (in Texas), their chili was very different.  Cincinnati chili usually has spices like cumin, nutmeg, and cinnamon, and it was served on top of spaghetti.  It was created by Greek people, so that is probably why it tastes so different.  Anyway, I liked the dish, but I wouldn’t call it chili.

A Great Lake – Michigan

On June 22, we moved to Ohio.  We stayed at National Road Campground in Zanesville, Ohio for a week, visiting with some friends, the Hoffmans.  We had met the Hoffmans over 4 years ago in 2016 while we lived in McKinney, Texas and they lived nearby in Richardson, Texas.  They recently moved to Ohio a few years ago to be closer to family.  We went over to their house a few times, and they came over to our RV park once.  The RV park had a playground with swings and a cornhole (bean bag toss game) area, so we played there.  Mr. Josh made his famous bacon grease popcorn.

We also saw our first Tim Horton’s here in Zanesville since Canada last year in 2019.  We didn’t realize Tim Horton’s was in the states and were thrilled to get coffee there!

On June 28, we moved to Bear Cave RV Campground in Buchanan, Michigan.  This general area is known to locals as Michiana (a combination of Michigan and Indiana) because the areas blend into each other around the state boarder here.  Locals go back and forth to shop, eat out, and recreate.  In this area, there are lots of fruit farms (blueberries were in season when we were there as well as cherries) as well as fruit farm stands and U-picks.  It’s a very pretty area but also very crowded as many locals and tourists flock to the beach along the shores of Lake Michigan during the summer heat.

On July 3, we went to an Indiana Dunes National Park in nearby Indiana.  The national park stretches 15 miles around the southern shore of Lake Michigan and is known for its sand dunes.  The state park area with beach access (which is within the national park) was packed this holiday weekend with a huge line of cars down the main road, so we opted to drive to a different area of the national park: the Paul H. Douglas Center for Environmental Education.  Here we learned more about Indiana Dunes and did junior ranger books.  Later in the day, we took a scenic shoreline drive within the national park and got to see the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair Century of Progress Homes, which were built at that time to show the modern houses that could be built, with materials like glass, and with things like dishwashers and air conditioners.

After that, we went to Pullman National Monument in Chicago, Illinois.  We were given a tour by a ranger and learned about the Pullman area.  George Pullman designed sleeping cars that were comfortable and luxurious for railroads.  As demand for his cars grew, Pullman bought land and started a model town.  He designed his town to be beautiful, clean, and orderly, and he allowed only his workers to live there (while paying rent).  By the day’s standards, it was a very nice town, far above other towns’ standards.  However, Pullman put strict rules over the town, even to where tenants had to ask permission to plant flowers in their front yard.

When the demand for Pullman’s cars went down, Pullman decreased his workers’ wages without decreasing their rent.  This led to strikes and boycotts, which were sometimes violent, and they spread across America.  Pullman died in 1897, the Pullman Company was ordered to sell all non-industrial holdings, and Robert Todd Lincoln became the new president of the company.  Eventually, sleeping cars on railroads were no longer needed.  Pullman’s model town was a failure.

At the town, we looked at the historic homes and some of the old buildings.  We didn’t go inside, however.  The houses were being rented out.

On July 4, we visited Grand Mere State Park in Stevensville, Michigan.  We took a hike through a marshy forest, over hot sand dunes, and finally arriving at the shores of Lake Michigan.  The sand dunes were really big, and they were also super hot.  Climbing up them was difficult, but running down was fun.  The water of Lake Michigan was refreshingly cool and there were fun waves to swim in (just like the ocean).  However, unlike the ocean, it was freshwater, meaning that it didn’t sting my eyes.  The sand here was very fine and soft.

When we were going back home to our RV park, we found people doing fireworks right outside the park entrance in the residential area.  We were able to pull over and watched them set off tons of big aerial fireworks for about an hour.  There must have been thousands of dollars’ worth of fireworks.  It was like a professional firework show.  At the end, they did a grand finale, which is the video below.  It was a nice ending to our Independence Day.

The next day, July 5, we went to Local Harvest Michigan Fruit Stand, where we bought some local Michigan vegetables, blueberries, and cherries.  (We recently tried the Michigan grown onions from there, and they were super sweet and delicious!)  After that, we went to Warren Dunes State Park in Sawyer, Michigan and stayed on the beach for a few hours.  Just like Indiana Dunes and Grand Mere, Warren Dunes is known for its huge sand dunes and the cool waters of Lake  Michigan.  The sand here was more rocky than the last beach, with small pebble-sized rocks mixed into the sand.

The Creation Museum – Kentucky

Ark Encounter

On Saturday, June 20, we visited the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky.  First, we went to the zoo and playground there.  The playground had a zipline sort of thing, which we really liked.  At the zoo, there were animals, including a wallaby, coati, zorse, and zonkey (all animals we had never seen before).

The museum was very well designed.  The decorations, colors, display setups, and wall designs gave each room a unique theme.  Mostly everything in the Creation Museum was about the Bible and how science relates to it.  It taught how evolution and creationism are different, how the different views line up with the evidence, and how, based on the creationist point of view, you should respond to it.  We watched a few movies inside, including one that was projected onto a wall and looked like it was being painted, a movie in the planetarium about aliens being fiction, and there was also a 4-D movie that was really cool about the seven days of creation.

Outside, we walked on a floating bridge and looked at the beautiful landscaping.  The floating bridge was bouncy and shaky, so some of us jumped while we walked to make it go up and down.

Going here was a very nice change for me.  This was the only museum I have ever visited that teaches from the creationist point of view.  All others I have been to teach from the evolutionist view, which omits God from the picture.

The next day, June 21, we visited William Howard Taft National Historic Site in nearby Cincinnati, Ohio.  William Taft was our 27th president.  He is the only person to have ever had the highest position in both the judicial and executive branches of the U.S. government.  We self-toured the Taft family house where William Taft was born and grew up.

After the Taft NHS, we stopped by at the Cincinnati Art Museum (also in the city of Cincinnati), which was free.  There were a lot of different types of paintings, sculptures, statues, and other art things like pottery and cultural decorations.  The building itself was a piece of art, with its architecture and design.

Finally that day, we went to the Ark Encounter in Williamstown, Kentucky.  It is basically a recreated version of the ark that Noah, his family, and tons of animals would’ve waited out the worldwide flood in.  The ark was built to be as close to Noah’s one as possible.  The people in charge used the measurements from the Bible, and they decorated the inside based off of the most logical explanations of how the animals and people would’ve fit in the ark.  Exhibits inside explained the flood, how the world was before it, and how it was afterwards.  The ark was really big, with four stories and tons of wood.  It is actually the world’s largest freestanding timber frame structure.

Outside the ark, bushes were cut to look like pairs of animals marching into the ark.  We also went to the zoo and playground there.  The zoo was a little bit different than the one at the Creation Museum in the animals it had (we saw kangaroos and an ostrich).  The playground was bigger here, and it had more things to use.