Visiting Virginia: Bible Museum, the ER, and Way Too Early Flights

Greetings Dearies,

If you’re new here and expecting a blog post with well-lit images of quality and thoughtful composition, might I recommend viewing this post, because this is most certainly not. Once upon a time, I blogged our adventures when we traipsed across Europe, and this is my attempt to get myself in the habit of documenting our adventures–a wee bit harder now that there’s more than two of us. But I like recounting the tales and sharing my suggestions. So please enjoy this (mostly) unedited, grainy cell phone documentation.

We chose a 6:00 AM flight, ya know, so we could be at our destination and still have the whole day before us. And even more brilliantly, we decided to get a hotel near the airport the night before so we wouldn’t have to drive as far in the morning. 

We treated the boys to Rainforest Cafe. Ames was both delighted and terrified of the animals, and we let him get a balloon sword from the roaming balloon artist. Best $2 we ever spent. That thing made it through airport security, lasted our entire trip, and was still intact when we arrived back in Texas a week later. Mommy may have threatened to pop it several times trying to get through the airport with two children.

In case anyone was wondering, our “brilliant” idea to stay in a hotel and get more sleep was an absolute bust, with both kids waking up multiple times; so we rolled into the hotel with 2 kids, a balloon sword, 4 suitcases, and a whopping 3 hours of sleep.

We landed in D.C. on Thanksgiving, and because who needs rest? We got to work on Thanksgiving dinner at my sister’s: grilled turkey, stuffed mushrooms, baked potatoes (including sweet potatoes with marshmallows), stuffing, bread, pie, and brownies.

A little FaceTime with the grandparents as we sang happy birthday to our niece after dinner, and we were all promptly in bed by 6:30. E’rebody tired.

Friday we avoided the crazy shopping and did something much more sane—took two five year olds, a three year old, and an almost 9 month old on the D.C. metro to the Museum of the Bible.

The kids loved it, I think we only slightly annoyed anyone in near proximity. Ames was glued to the windows. 

Then the Museum of the Bible, which praise the Lord! Is right next to the metro stop.

We started at the top, checking out the view of DC. Then decided we were all hungry (ok, I was hungry) and got pizza and burgers at Manna (I swear, it’s really a Mediterranean restaurant in the museum).

After that we started checking out the exhibits, which ranged from standard museum displays to life-size recordings from historical theologians (ok, actors playing but you get the idea). 

Of course, Rowan was soon desperate for a nap but not sleeping. I had him in my carrier and took Ames to the Nazarene village while the others lined up for The Story of the Bible. 

Ames saw an actor in the village and promptly screamed and ran away from him. We joined the others in line, and just as Rowan tucked his head down and fell asleep, they let us in and announced “this will involve bright lights and loud sounds that may be upsetting so some”

Oh joy.

So the show starts. Everyone else grabbed a seat but I stood off in the far corner, doing my best to shield Rowan from the sound effects and lighting.

The video was cool, dynamic lighting and sounds (as expected), the screen is a bit small but then a red crack lights up across the wall. A staff member walks over to me and whispers words I never expected,

“Ma’am, would you step over here, that wall is about to move.”


We walked through a rainbow, the red sea. It was gorgeous! The whole museum could have been that one show and I would have been happy.

Then we let the kids venture into the children’s area, which is a whole series of Babylon Bee articles waiting to happen, before getting some coffees from Milk + Honey for the metro ride home.

At some point we got Duck Donuts, because we don’t go to Virginia without visiting this place and eating a month’s worth of sugar in one sitting. To be honest, not quite sure when in the trip we went but this seems like a good spot.

Saturday brought portrait time! My sister wanted family photos at the Manassas battlefield before they moved back to Texas.

Sunday meant church, with a sermon we still reference to this day, the longest lunch at Olive Garden (because, four kids, at a restaurant, on a sunday), then Frozen II for my niece’s birthday (naturally we dressed up).

Monday is where things got interesting, it was supposed to be a chill day, running the niece and nephews while my sister and her husband packed. Is that what happened? No, no it did not. Instead, Colton took Matt to urgent care. Jess and I were home with the kids where she felt worse and worse–I figured it was just stress about the move and told her to lie down. Well, the boys get back and Matt is probably fine but here’s some tick disease meds just in case while they run lab work. 

Jessica doesn’t feel better after laying down, so Matt takes her to urgent care. No biggie, Colton and I keep all the kids entertained. Then we hear Matt and Jess are off to the ER to make sure she doesn’t have appendicitis.

A bit startling yes, but wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t for the fact that the next day Colton and I are leaving Ames with Matt and Jess so we can go to the Katelyn James Business Journey in-event, the REASON we came to virginia in the first place (visiting the sis and her family was a bonus).

So I’m trying not to be devastated that we aren’t going, because when someone is headed to the ER for possible appendicitis, they probably aren’t up for babysitting a 5 year old the next day.

So I email the event, tell them we’re not coming because I want to be courteous; basically keeping myself from having any emotion about because yes I’m sad but my sister is at the hospital and I can’t be mad at someone’s who’s in the hospital.

And then, at 11 pm, they message saying they’re coming back home, and want to know when we’re leaving.


They tell us we’re crazy for not going, so we went.

I’ll leave the details of the Katelyn James event for another blog.

Don’t remember much on our last-ish day; There was packing, laundry, questioning our decision to take another 6 AM flight. 

Said flight ended up being half empty (MULTIPLE ROWS TO OURSELVES!! Mommy got to stretch out and actually napped, this never happens). 

And that red balloon sword made it back home to Texas.

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