Saturday, April 30, 2011

George Washington Carver National Monument

Yesterday, we had the privilege of visiting the George Washington Carver National Monument.  The grounds were just gorgeous, and the entire museum and park were beautifully organized.

We have been reading his biography by, David Collins for the last couple of weeks, so we were really excited about this place!  It was also a chance to earn another Jr. Ranger badge. :)

Mr. Carver was not only a highly educated man, he was a man of God.  He, like David, was a man after God's own heart.  He studied and memorized scripture, but most importantly, he LIVED it.  He truly was a man that sought the Lord and His direction for his life in everything.  He was also such a humble man. 

George W. Carver found 300 uses from the peanut and 100 from the sweet potato.  He helped the southern farmers and their families grow healthy crops and prosper, when times were dire.  Even when Thomas Edison, himself, offered Mr. Carver over $100,000 salary to work in his laboratory, he respectfully declined.  He stated many times, that money was of no use to him, and lived simply.  :)

The museum was really great with an old time classroom, filled with original Blue Spellers and McGuffey Readers. :)  There were artifacts like his old marbles, paintings, sketches, letters, and bedroom furniture.  It also had interviews recorded, a short video and a science lab with all kinds of microscopic slides and specimens. 
But, then, we went outside.  :)
Ranger Anne took us on a guided tour of the grounds where George Washington Carver grew up and was raised as a young boy! It was inspiring.

 This shows the dimensions of his home.  It is about the same size as our RV living area! :)

Here is one of the two natural springs on the property.

These are pictures of Moses Carver's home that he built for his wife, Susan.  George did not grow up in this home, because it was built much later in life.  This other spring, was right near the home, and was SO cold!  They used to use the freezing water to keep their milk and butter cold by building a "box,"  or icebox into the spring!  Too cool.  :)

Here is the cemetary of the Carver family and relatives.  They adopted George when he was an orphaned, mute, slave.  They treated him as their own son, thus, the name: George(from his real father), Washington(from President George Washington, who was known for being honest) and Carver-his family name. :)
Here, are the kids recieving their badges. :)

Todd could not resist his "Forrest Gump" moment.  Ha!  :)


Friday, April 29, 2011

Civil War Museum & Courthouse, Carthage, Missouri

Yesterday, we went into the small town of Carthage, Missouri and visited the Civil War Museum.  It was a small museum with a few artifacts, but it was the mannequins that the kids enjoyed that day for some odd reason! :)

Here, is a portrait of the "Pettycoat Flag."  I LOVE the bravery and loyalty it took for her to pin the cherished flag.  :) 

Afterwards, we strolled around town and came across this quaint little icecream shop.  Nostalgia at its best!
I like to think that if I could live in a different time period, I would like to have been a pioneer woman, or Peggy-Sue in the 50's. :)

So, after our wafflecones, we went across the street to this unbelievably, beautiful building.

The original, burned down to the ground during the Civil War.  In fact, everything but the Kendrick House burned.  The Courthouse was rebuilt in 1895.  It only took one year, and $100,000!!  WOW!  (If you put that in today's money, that is roughly 2 million dollars!)

Here is an old time elevator, and a sweet lady operated it for us, just like they had to back then. :)

They had an old telephone booth.....Zach could not resist with his Superman t-shirt! HA! :)

The staircase was also ornate.  The lobby was full of old artifacts from the war, but also other times in history to enjoy.

Overall, it was simply, a lovely afternoon.  But, it did not end here!
We drove by the Kendrick House.  The ONLY home that did not burn down.

Then, we got to visit our FIRST Civil War Battlefield!

Is this not the most peaceful place? 
I have the kids write in their journals everyday, and Zach made the comment in his: "this place made me feel like being a soldier!"  You just could not help but to reflect about those soldiers and what they experienced on these very grounds.
Well, as quiet as it was, it did not stay that way for long.  Before I knew it, Todd and I had sat under a shaded tree and we watched the kids re-enact scenes from Narnia. :)

"For Narnia....And for Aslan!!!"  I have to admit, it was pretty cool.  Especially when Parker was running with all his might!  He has not even seen the movie (too young) but it does not stop him from participating. :)

In all seriousness, here is a description:
Preceding the Battle of Bull Run by 11 days, the Battle of Carthage, fought on July 5, 1861, was one of the earliest engagements in the Civil War. Battle of Carthage State Historic Site is the location of one of the last skirmishes of the battle, and the campsite for both armies -- the Union troops the night before the battle and the Confederate troops the night following the battle.

The battle itself was a mobile engagement that was spread out over a distance of 10 miles. Col. Franz Sigel and his army of 1,100 well-drilled, fully armed men were sent to southeast Missouri to stop Gov. Claiborne Jackson's army of 4,000 armed and 2,000 unarmed soldiers from banding up with Confederate troops in nearby Arkansas. On July 5, the troops met about nine miles north of Carthage and the skirmishes began. The most severe fighting took place at crossings of Dry Fork Creek, Buck Branch and Spring River. After the smoke cleared and the sun set, the Confederate Missouri State Guard was victorious, however, the Union troops skillfully escaped a superior force with minimal losses.

Battle of Carthage State Historic Site encompasses the Carter Spring area, which remains little changed from its 1861 appearance. The site interprets this historic battle through an informational kiosk.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Precious Moments

When in Carthage, Mo., one HAS to visit the Precious Moments Chapel and Museum.  :)  I am not someone who collects a bunch of things, but I have collected a few of these sweet figurines. :)  Something about the tear-drop eyes has always made me smile. 

The museum and chapel was so much more than we thought it was going to be.  The buildings are spread out on about 2200 acres of beautiful rolling rills.  This was honestly more of a treat for me, than for the kids, but they did seem to appreciate the artist's testimony and intricate work. 

These are pics of the inside of the world's largest Precious Moments gift shop.  Too cute.  :)
Below, the pics show the grounds on the way to the Chapel and Museum.

Once inside, it was just beautiful.  From the front door made of Nava wood from the Phillipines, which was hand carved, to the gorgeous ceiling painted like the Sistine Chapel!  On the walls, it presents the Old Testament on one side, and the New Testament on the other.  It was such a peaceful and personal place. 

Outside, on our way to the museum, we saw this wonderful display of Jesus' Resurrection. :)

This is the playhouse that is on the property, usually open to the kids, but because of all the rain in the local area in the past weeks.....

Once inside the museum, we admired the FIRST 21 figurines Mr. Butcher made.  Did you know that he first started making greeting cards?!

Thank you Mr. Butcher for a wonderful visit.  :)  Thank you for also making it family friendly and FREE!