Monday, December 31, 2007

In the mall...



Yeah...one last trip to the mall before 2008. Oh the joy! Okay...so I'm not too fond of malls, or shopping for that matter, but being with my family (and the WONDERFUL vanilla snow) made it all worth it. Talk to you later!

-Paige

(PS...we got 50 posts in before 2008! HOORAY!!!!!)

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Sermons, Songs, and Beautiful Buildings

Today was Sunday. But today was much different than any other Sunday. We joined Uncle Mad and Aunt Maddy at their own church. It was an experience I won't soon forget. We arrived at the MIZZOU campus early, and walked along a well-groomed path to a small chapel. I was a little apprehensive, just like I am before we visit any new church. But when we walked into the door, all of that melted away. My entire family (EVERYONE) was greeted with a warm handshake, and smiling faces. Not the cheesy ones...but the real genuine ones. I love that. We began with a few rousing hymns (there were no instruments, but that just caused the voices and harmony to sound even more beautiful), communion and prayers, then the sermon. By the way that the people in the congregation responded to the preacher, you could see that they were eager to hear God's word, and I'm pretty sure nobody fell asleep. We ended up staying for awhile afterwards visiting with different members of the church. I left there convicted, and built up in God's word. I am looking forward to our next visit. Here are some pictures of the building, and that which surrounded it. The huge clock that you see is the main part. We were in a smaller building on the side. The others should speak for themselves.

In Christ,

Paige







Saturday, December 29, 2007

Evening Thoughts



If you saw that right, it says "Wise shall be the bearers of light". It is on the MIZZOU campus near Uncle Mad's office. It caught my eye, so I snapped a picture of it. I thought that it was interesting how the campus is not a necessarily a Christian one, but God's truth is there, even when people don't acknowledge it. Wisdom is a prized thing in the Bible. More precious than all the wealth you can have, because it is of God.

Back to God's truth being everywhere...I just find it amazing that God and his laws are there, and we can't do anything about it! Some people even acknowledge them, without acknowledging God (murder, stealing, etc etc etc). It is so amazing! That's about all I have for you tonight. More pictures and videos to come!

In Christ,

Paige

Uncle Mad's Laboratory

I told you I would share our scientific outing with you, so here goes!












Elizabeth wasn't too happy about me filming, as you might have observed ;) Let me explain it a little bit for you. Uncle Mad's prime lab, as you might have heard, is where he and his students study media, and how people react to it. The experiment that Caitlin and Elizabeth were acting out (and I was filming yet again) was actually one where they study reactions to anti-smoking commercials. Caitlin was the "researcher", keeping watch over Elizabeth's heart rate, and a few other things on the screen (as you should see up there). That's what all of the sensors were for. It was all very interesting. The pictures should be pretty self-explanatory. I hope you enjoyed them! More to come later...

In Christ,

Paige =)

Friday, December 28, 2007

Booche's!

Greetings from Missouri!!!!!!! This is Paige here, acting as the journalist (again) for our holiday travels. We arrived here last night, and have already had such an eventful day! Our first experience was this afternoon, when Grace, Christopher, and I had our very first experience at Booche's, a world famous burger place! Take a look...





Christopher was very tempted to "call them hogs". You see...he was fascinated with the idea of the fame of being kicked out of the restaurant, namely the well loved Booches. Luckily he wasn't curious enough to see if it would work. As you probably saw, the burgers are served on little squares of wax paper. They don't have fries or desert either, which makes them all the more particular of the quality of their burgers. I must say that mine was very tasty. If you look at the pictures below, grandfather and Christopher enjoyed theirs as well =) On a side note, the picture of the grill down there may seem rather unimportant. But given the history of people photographing it (the chefs don't like pictures to be taken of it), I was lucky to get it. My technique was to snap it through the mirror hanging on the wall in front of me. If you look closely, the chef behind it looks like he was smiling at me. I think he found me out. If he did know, I'm glad he let me keep it :) After we finished our meals, we ventured out into the FREEZING COLD (okay...so I don't like it colder than about 62 F) to take our picture in front of the window. So, other than the COLD weather, we had a wonderful time and are very grateful that our Uncle Mad took us with him (<3 you Uncle Mad!). That concluded our first adventure of the day. I'll fill you in on our visit to Uncle Mad's lab later ;) I hope you are having a blessed week!

Rejoicing in Christ,

Paige







Thursday, October 25, 2007

Vote!

No, I'm not talking about politics (yet). I am talking about our NEW poll! I think I might not be the only one interested to know how other Christians feel about this. Perhaps we can have a good discussion about it at the end. So...don't forget to state your opinion! It's on the right hand side of the page, under the contributers section. Have a blessed day!

Paige

Monday, October 15, 2007

They have been called a "tree-huggers". They have been labeled "environmentalists". People have laughed at what they do and acted as if what they did was useless. They are the people who speak out for the environment. I have seen this happen among a wide age range. At first I was somewhat skeptical about being an "environmentalist". Being curious, and looking for more information (particularly from a Christian perspective), I came across a book called Serve God, Save the Planet by Doctor J. Matthew Sleeth. For lack of time, I thought I would share with you some of the revelations I got from this book.

You DO NOT have to be a hippy to care for God's creation. If you are a Christian, you know that in the very beginning, God formed this earth with HIS hands. You also know that we are called to be good stewards. We need to get over the fact that turning off a light that we aren't using, or recycling the ever-present junk mail is NOT some radical new thing. I do realize that recycling is not available to everyone. If it is, try and think of things like this: "If I put this in the trash, how long will it sit there?" It seems to me that we use the easy access we have to dispose of things as an excuse to be wasteful...or even materialistic. Think of all the kids meal toys that get thrown away daily. If you think that a plastic miniature of the latest "what's in" is going to disintegrate back into the earth in your lifetime...think again. Back to the being a Christian environmentalist. God says to take care of our possessions, but in reality...it's all His. Bearing that in mind, this earth is His as well, so everything basically falls under the same category. According to that theory, we should be taking care of His earth just as much as we take care of our own home!

A common mis-conception I have found is that a lot of people think caring for the earth is putting it in a bad place on the priority list (my apologies for the run-on sentence). Here I will try and abolish the fact that you do not have to worship creation to take care of it. Taking into consideration what I said above, would caring for God's earth not be putting God on a higher pedestal? Taking care of the work of God's hand can also be a way of showing that we do care about what God has done.

I have always loved nature. Sitting under the stars in the middle of nowhere, the magnificence of the mountains, majestic creatures throughout creation, even the soft cushion of grass in our backyard, all of these have provided me many moments of awe of God being ever-present in the visions of creation. But at a certain point, something happened. I was convicted in my heart that loving creation as much as I did meant so much more than using my eyes to enjoy it. It meant me working with my hands to keep it beautiful.

James 2:14 "What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? Can faith save him?

Seeing that God made the earth, but doing nothing to take care of it just does not make sense to me. Here I must make clear that I do not claim that you have to recycle to go to Heaven. I will never claim that I know any such doctrine as the one and only truth except that God is my creator, Jesus is my Savior, and there are laws by which we must abide. Taking care of creation is a way for me to serve my God. Turn off a light here and there. Support companies that are "green". Try not to focus on material man-made things for beauty, but instead on He who formed you from the dust. Be humbled in His presence.

Here I must conclude my post. I hope to make more sense of myself in the near future, as this is something I truly enjoy talking about. I hope that you all have a truly blessed autumn and fully take in the changing of the seasons.

In Christ,

Paige

For more information on caring the environment from a Christian vantage point, visit the website for Serve God, Save the Planet here.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Blog Action Day

Check this out...



This could be interesting. Some of you know that caring for the enviroment is one of my convictions (this is Paige speaking). So when I saw this, I thought it would be a great opportunity to jump in as a Christian and get my view out there. Here I must make it clear that I do not support everything that Blog Action Day does (heavy tolerance of basically everything) and I will NOT bring up global warming. Now that I have made myself clear, you can expect at least one blog from me on Monday. Have a blessed day!

Paige

Sunday, September 23, 2007

And the point is...?

Among the many advertisements that are being flung at us from every direction, there is one particular category of them that stirs my thoughts the most. The Christian witnessing billboards. Particularly, the one you see below. Take a look. Afterwards, you can either come up with your own "what's the point?", or read mine.



Alright, what thoughts did that billboard produce in your mind? Let me be brutally honest with you. We have around three of those advertisements in approximately a 20 mile radius of our house. The first time that I saw one, my thoughts were pretty close to this: "Oh..wow. Ummmm...what?" After this thought occurred, questions began to arise in my mind. "Who is this appealing to?", "What about people who have never heard the name of Christ?", and "Why put a billboard up with the name of our Lord and Savior...and that's it?". Please do not take me wrong here brothers and sisters. In our darkening culture, I am glad that they allow this advertisement...but I do wish that they would use their form of spreading the gospel (if that is what the point was...) in a clearer form. This can also be compared to the way that we talk about Christ to someone. We must make sure that we are clear. Jesus makes everything clear (and even uses stories to help us understand it!), whereas this type of witnessing is very indirect. So...unless they were just trying to get the God-fearing people to be more conscious of their speed, and lower road rage (this is possible...), I find that the money it takes to rent a billboard would be better spent elsewhere supporting something that would bring our country closer to God and His laws. But I'll spare you another nine paragraph post and let you decide for yourselves. =) Is this effective? Think on it.

In Christ,

Paige

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Standing Up for Standing Out

I have almost always felt that I should write according to my convictions. That I should write according to the recent happenings in my life. I felt this would be the most truthful, and perhaps the best writing I could provide in the short time I have for blogging. So here I sat in our somewhat bare "computer nook" (we have yet to hang the pictures) wondering what exactly I should write about that would be of interest to the reader, and hopefully be able to bless someone in some way. That is a hard thing to think about sometimes. After much consideration, I decided what I could offer right now, more than much else, is encouragement. You see, lately I have been struggling with fitting in, finding kindred spirits who are my age, and an over all positive attitude about all of this. I figured that the best way to deal with this humbly (I truly wrestled with even posting about this) was to build up my siblings in Christ who are going through this as well. Let me share some things that have helped me. Chances are you have heard all of this before...but bear with me. Hearing the same encouragement for a second time is usually as good as the first.

Family. Ok, so I know the culture and most of the people your age say that having a close relationship with your little and big siblings and your parents is not "cool" (oooh...I have tried to dismiss that word from my vocabulary) but truly, this is where so much encouragement lies. I have spent countless hours talking to my parents about everything, and they are always able to encourage me. I have also found refuge in my siblings numerous times. Chances are being with your siblings might cause you to stick out a little more...but the fruits that can be gained from those relationships in the long run are so much better than turning them down now for a social standing. Please believe me here. You are not alone. Talking to your parents and siblings helps to teach good communication skills now, that will carry over into life later.

Self-examination. Ouch. Okay, so not all of this is encouragement, but this is something that really helped me. First of all, let me make myself clear that I am not in any way telling you that you are doing something wrong just because you are standing out. I know from everyday life that this is not true. Moving on. I used to have really this bad habit of withdrawing whenever I felt like I stuck out and felt the results of the sticking out process. By examining myself, I realized that I was partially alienating myself from everyone else, so I couldn't just blame other people anymore. That may not be so with everyone, but sometimes examining your own actions can save you some emotional pain. Glad to get that one over with. Now onto some more encouragement...

Comparing yourself with other people generally ALWAYS leads to trouble. You either end up feeling really depressed because they are way better than you (whatever "better" might be to you...it all depends) or, more commonly, one might get a prideful and "holier than thou" attitude. So instead of looking outward, look in God's laws and truth, and hold yourself to those. Hear this:

Philippians 2:3 (NIV) "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves."

Well that should kill the "holier than thou" attitude pretty quick. The Bible is packed with verses on humility. If we are in Christ, we should strive to prevent our pride from taking over. Imitate Christ. What then do we say to those who bringing themselves down? Again, look to the word. Know that there is joy in humility and purity of the heart. Compare yourself to God's truths, just as any Christian. Know where you are in your Christian walk, and take joy in the fact that you have a faith in Christ.


People get lonely. I have struggled with feeling a little alone in my beliefs and standing point on things. Now, I know some people have an easier time not having many kindred spirits than others, so this may not apply to everyone. Skip it if you please. For those of you who are like me...read on. You are not alone. I was talking to another Christian sister of mine this evening, discussing the frustrations of being alone on certain things. But she was not alone in her position, because I share the same one. Here me out: there are people all over struggling with these things. They do seem to be a bit more widespread, but they are there. Also, take joy in the friends that you have! I have yet to find another sister in Christ who completely agrees with me on EVERYTHING I believe, but cherish the friends that I have. We aren't supposed to be a puzzle piece that fits perfectly into the cultural trendy mold, we are to be fashioned by God's hand, fitting into his Kingdom. Never forget this.

Romans 12:2 (NIV) "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is-His good, pleasing and perfect will."


I hope that I have been able to build someone up somehow with this. Remember it's not social networking, always fitting in, popularity, dating, having the right friends, pleasing the crowd, or whatever else this culture is screaming at you that is important. It is staying on God's good and perfect path, walking in his boundaries, and loving Him and His law that really matter. Remember obedience. Remember Love. This is one of my favorite verses. Our troubles now seem a bit small compared to those that were dealt with when Paul and Timothy walked the earth, but this verse can be applied today just as well.

2 Corinthians 5:16-18 (NIV) "Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."


Have a blessed weekend.

In Christ,

Paige

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

TODAY

I love poems(as if you can't tell.) I was reading a book and found this piece. I loved it and thought I'd share it with you. I'm trying to take it to heart, and I'll hope that you will too.


TODAY

Mend a quarrel. Search out a forgotten
friend. Dismiss suspicion and replace it with
trust. Write a letter. Share some treasure.
Give a soft answer. Encourage youth.
Manifest your loyalty in a word or deed.

Keep a promise. Find the time. Forego a
grudge. Forgive an enemy. Listen.
Apologize if you were wrong. Try to
understand. Flout envy. Examine your
demands on others. Think first of someone
else. Appreciate, be kind, be gentle. Laugh
a little more.

Deserve confidence. Take up arms
against malice. Decry complacency. Express
your gratitude. Worship your God. Gladden
the heart of a child. Take pleasure in the
beauty and wonder of the earth. Speak
your love. Speak it again. Speak it still
again. Speak it still once again.

Author Unknown


God Bless,
Alena

Friday, August 17, 2007

College, a Calling, and Hair Loss

Alright, we are going to play a guessing game. One of those items up there, is something I stressed about, another is something I was frustrated about, and the other is result of the stress and the frustration...so have you guessed which goes with which? Yep, I was stressed about college, frustrated about not knowing my calling, and as the result of that (plus a Senior recital, graduation, grand choir concert and my whole life changing) I started to lose my hair, not something I would recommend. Don't worry though, I still have plenty left, but it was a bit of a scare. Everyone thought I might be sick, so I went to the doctor. My wonderful doctor just said "Are you experiencing any big changes in your life right now? Ah yes, then let me tell you, you have plenty of time to figure things out, and let us start you on a multi-vitamin." So I stopped stressing, started taking about twelve to fifteen vitamins a day, and thankfully, everything turned out fine.
Now, I would like to share with you what I learned from that experience: If we follow the Lord, do not worry, and trust in Him, He will take care of us:~) I am past all of that now, and it is amazing how everything started working out when I finally got down to breathing and taking each day as it comes. I think it is funny when we finally learn something that the Lord has been saying to us for years, "Do not worry" seems to have been my particular lesson this summer.

In case anyone was wondering (and so I don't have to answer this question a hundred more times ;~) I will be doing my college through a program called College Plus! the website is linked, as they are better at explaining what they do than I am. So hopefully I will have my bachelor's degree in 18 months, because after that I believe I will be going to graduate school, where I will possibly be getting my masters in both Christian Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy ( I am still investigating all of this). I have succeeded in shocking many acquaintances, who might have actually expected something like this from a home schooled graduate, who is 19 and doesn't have a boyfriend, and really does like her parents ;~) All kidding aside, I have been overwhelmed at the love and support people have given me as I move on with life, even from those who might not completely understand how or why I am going to do college at home. That is a quick and brief update to fill in any gaps. I will try to post something more meaningful coming up here soon, there are still a few details with college and work that are consuming my time. For now, I will leave you with this quote from a dear old book that I love:
"Flapdoodle, trust and obey. His eye is on the Sparrow."
In Christ,
Caitlin

Monday, August 6, 2007

And We're Back!

That's right...maidenology is back in the blogosphere. SO much has happened since our last real post! Caitlin graduated and had her senior recital (and did beautifully, if I may say so). If you were checking the family blog, you will know that we had a Father's Day concert with our church youth choir. That was indeed an experience that we will remember for a long time. We had our yearly piano competition. Grace took 2nd at the county level, and I went all the way to win state and carry on the recent family tradition. Caitlin took the title last year, and it was my turn this year. Perhaps Elizabeth will be next year =) We also had a few family reunions, which were most enjoyable. A few changes have happened. Some good, and some...well, some were not asked for. But for the most part, things remain joyful and blessed. For now, I will give you a brief update on what is going right now.

Caitlin is preparing for college, but I will let her be the one to tell you about that if she so chooses. We are both working at the same building. I as a gymnastics coach, and she as a front desk worker and a fill-in coach when she needs to be. I am currently spending more time at the piano than before (and on my guiter as well), which I really don't mind at all. There are more pieces to learn than ever, so I am kept quite busy. We are wrapping up the Summer with some last minute swimming, relaxing (when possible) and spending time with family and friends.

As for the future of the blog, Caitlin and I recently got our own laptops. They will mainly be used for schoolwork, but we do plan on keeping the posts fresh, and it will be much easier to do that being as we have easier computer access. There are plenty of things to write about, and I hope to find time to share them with you all. I hope that you are having a blessed Summer's end, just as we are!

In Christ,

Paige

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Happy Independence Day!

Well...here we are. From left to right: Paige, Alena, and Caitlin. Happy Independence Day!

The first try...


Getting closer...argh



We had a few technical difficulties, as you can see



Losing all hopes of looking somewhat professional...


-Maidenology

PS: Caitlin doesn't like the camera ;)

Thursday, April 19, 2007

In The Midst of The Madness

A poem by Elizabeth Barrett Browning..


The little cares that fretted me
I lost them yesterday
Among the fields, above the sea,
Among the winds at play,
Among the lowing of the herds,
The rustling of the trees,
Among the singing of the birds,
The humming of the bees.

The foolish fears of what might happen,
I cast them all away,
Among the clover-scented grass,
Among the new-mown hay,
Among the husking of the corn,
Where drowsy poppies nod.
Where ill thoughts die and good are
born -
Out in the fields with God.

Go With God,
Alena

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Greetings Everyone!


Caitlin here, to explain our absence from the blog lately. We are very sorry we haven't been able to maintain regular posts, but we are having issues with our computer right now. Our screen has taken to blinking and changing colors (and sometimes there are shapes that look like little faces!), when we have our computer on for a long amount of time. It eventually goes completely white and we have to try and restart it again. We are looking for a way to get this fixed, but until then we will be having a hard time blogging. We have some neat posts planned on purity for you all to look forward to though! I hope everyone is having a blessed week!

Caitlin;~)

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Hope for Hannah

Hello everyone, I just wanted to encourage you all to visit our newest link in our website section, "Hope for Hannah". This is a website for a young friend of ours who was in a bad car accident. The website seeks to glorify God by meeting the needs of our brothers and sisters in Christ. You will find all of the details on the website. Keep checking it, there should be updates soon. Another post should be coming quickly...but I am off to work right now. If you have anything that you would like to see us post on, feel free to tell us by contacting us at our blog email (see sidebar). Thank you for all of your patience!

In Christ,

Paige =)

Friday, March 2, 2007

The last of the Trilogy...

Here is the last part of the pictures. There are tons more...but this is what I can put up. My camera battery is getting quite weak. Once again, enjoy!


Here is a group picture at El Chico with our good friends, Caitlin, and I.


Here are friends at El Chico.


Here is Elizabeth and some of our sweet young ladies.


Some more of our good friends.


Mr. and Mrs. Arkanblogger having a lovely dinner.


More of our friends.


And some more...as you can see we have a rather large group. =)


A brother and sisiter in our group. Sibling love =)



Of all the simple things in life, you would think I would be able to turn that picture around. Oh well. Here is our friend and her "taco salad". We were all quite amazed at its size.


A group of our guys having fun together.


Group pic! There I am with some friends.


One of our sponsors and a group of guys with him. Looks like they were having fun =)


A sponsor and one of our guys talking together.


GOOD MORNING!!! We look SO sleepy...I think it was seven something. Up at about five I think. Oy.


I did not see many pretty things in Waco. This was an exception. There were some other very pretty homes.


Myself and friends again at lunch on Sunday. Our last time in the Baylor cafeteria.


Here is our choir together with our director and trophie. What a beautiful day it was.


Here is our last rehearsal before the gran performance. It was amazing. You see the Baylor orchestra before you. Those are some of our memories from Festival at Baylor, 2007.

Paige =)

Part Two of Festival 2007!

Here are a few more of the pictures that I will be posting. There are still more to come. Enjoy!


Here we have Mr. and Mrs. Arkanblogger with our dear friends who came as sponsors.


During rehearsals some of our sponsors went to the Dr. Pepper museum. It looks like they had fun!


Here are all 300 of us up on the risers for rehearsals. I am in the far left section of girls. It reminds me of "Where's Waldo??" =)


Mmmm...chocolate mint ice cream!


Here's Grace eating some vanilla ice cream after a wonderful lunch.


Say "CHEESE!" =)


Caitlin and our good friend at lunch time.


One of the best parts of the trip was hearing the Baylor men's choir sing for us. This picture was taken during a hilarious song about a man who loved a woman but she turned him down because smelled like this really good fish dish. A little confusing...but extremely entertaining!


Z-pac (one name I can use) and another one of our guys being goofy.


The guy up top was our soprano and alto coach. Below him you see Grace and friends.


Elizabeth, our choir's soprano coach, and friend enjoying the wonderful bubbly floats. Got Dr. Pepper?? =)


Some of our guys clearly enjoying break time.


Here are two of our sponsors serving the Dr. Pepper floats...from buckets. Despite their containers, they were wonderful.

I hope you enjoyed part two of the festival pictures! I am on a roll now. Expect part three soon!

Paige