Saturday, January 27, 2007

Pictures of Alena

Here are some of the pictures that we have of Alena. Most of them are from when our homeschool group performed "Pride and Prejudice" with a script adapted by Alena herself. Practices were quite tiring, but in the end it was all worth it.


Here is a picture taken during one of our adult directors talks. Like Paige said, the practices were very intense and tiring, especially since Alena and I were the student directors. But in the end it was an amazing experience.


Here you have three of us on stage (with our scripts, it took awhile to get rid of them, being as some of the lines were over a paragraph long!). From left to right you have Alena as Elizabeth Bennet, Charne as Mrs. Bennet, and myself (Caitlin, with lots more hair:~) as Jane Bennet.


Here you have the lovely Alena trying on one of her costumes to see how it would work on stage. We were fortunate enough to find many dresses that actually looked like they came from that time period.


Here is another picture of Alena as Elizabeth Bennet. Doesn't she have one of the most "Lizzie" like looks on her face? One of the neat things about being in this play together was that Paige, Alena and I got to play sisters, as Paige was Mary Bennet. It brought us all very close together in a special way.
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Happy Birthday Alena!

To our sister in Christ, loving friend, and fellow maiden and blogger, Alena. May she have a most wonderfuly blessed birthday with many more to come! We have been blessed to know her and her family for almost two years, and they are all such wonderful Godly people. Happy Birthday Alena! We love you!

Paige and Caitlin

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Homeschool Day at the Capitol

Today was a very interesting day. We got the opportunity to meet with over 600 (YES!) other home-educators and put our best foot forward for the staff at the Capitol. I thought I would give you a brief report. I do not have too many pictures though (which is not how I had planned it) as there were not many chances to take them.

We began the day by going to up to a main meeting place and dropping off our homemade desserts to have them labeled and handed out to the senators and legislatures. It seems that homeschooling families have very good baking skills. There were tables and tables full of cookies, bread, etc. I am sure that the staff that received it will be well-fed =)

Our support group had about 45-50 people there. We all met up and tried to get in to see a bill being discussed by some representatives, but due to the mass amounts of people, we were not able too. Then after some confusion (OK...a lot of confusion), we got to take a tour of the Capitol. That is what most of my pictures are from. I found out (much to my disappointment) that out of 100 Representatives, 75 of them are democrats, and the rest are republicans. Oy. But one of the encouragements was seeing "In God We Trust" in gold letters over the house of senate. I am not sure how many of them live by that, but it was still good to see that they hadn't take it out.

During the tour my sisters and I slipped out to get ready for our performance. There was a one hour block of time dedicated to home schooled children singing, praise dancing, playing instruments, etc. The acoustics in the rotunda were very interesting, being as it was round and marble. It traveled well, but almost killed the sound. The effect was one that caused everyone to lean in and listen a little bit closer. We began with "God of Our Fathers", a traditional hymn, and then closed with "The Price of Freedom". It went very nicely. We were glad to hear a young bluegrass group play, which inspired some foot-tapping (I love that!), and were awed by a beautiful arrangement of "How Great Thou Art" in which the young lady who sung it had all of us waiting for the chandelier to fall. I had goosebumps by the time she was done. A few others from our group performed also, and did a great job. Then at the end, our support group's young ladies closed the performance session with the National Anthem.

I am sad to say that we did not meet the Governor. Elizabeth accidentally bumped into him as we were leaving, but did realize that it was him until she heard everyone whispering "that's the Governor!". Even though it seemed that some of the staff was not pleased at our being there, the ones who spoke to us were pleased with the behavior of all of the children, and said they were encouraged because of what they saw. It was a good day. I hope that every year that we have more and more involvement and are able to show people the good fruits of home education. Have a blessed rest of the week!


Paige =)

(the pictures are coming soon!)

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Cheers to Dr. King

A great man will be remembered on Monday. A man who changed his community, America, and the world. I would like to say that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is one of the most honorable men I have ever read about. His legacy is so powerful, how could he be anything less than honorable. Not only did he carry out God's command to "love your neighbor as yourself" but he also accomplished much academically. Reverend King was also a family man. He married Coretta Scott King, and they had four children who are still alive today. Probably the most amazing aspect of Dr. King's life is that he protested with peace, even when attempts were made on the lives of his colleagues and his family. I cannot even begin to imagine how hard his struggle must of been. But, Dr. King never wavered. He never changed his tune. Every march was carried out peacefully, and every speech was given peacefully. Here is a man of self discipline and solid morals. Dr. King has also done a great deal for me specifically. You see, if Dr. King hadn't fought for the right, my mom and her family would have never have immigrated from Jamaica to America. In short, I wouldn't be alive. I am deeply grateful to Dr. King, his family, and all other men and women who bled, sacrificed, and died for me. Cheers to the man who made my world what it is today. I honor you Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for everything you've done for me, my family, and my world.
In His Love,
Alena

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The Reason Why...

...Not long ago I sent emails to some of you with the news story below among other things. I wrote the following paper seeking some answers myself and I believe I found them. I ask that you would read this with an open mind, and know that I do not claim to have all the answers. But I pray that I may always seek the truth in all things, to the glory of the Father who has given me a wonderful mind that I may do so.

"New Delhi, India-A three year old little boy is attacked and eaten alive by pigs. The family had been eating outside when the child wandered away from his family with a piece of bread in his hand. He was not heard when he was attacked. By the time the child was discovered, it was too late. At the same time in Mid America, down the street at the local grocery store-Pork chops half off this weekend only; Get 'em while you can!


The story above about the little boy is true, the advertisement after it is fictional, but I am sure you have seen one like it. Why do we eat things that eat us? Why do we eat creatures whose role in creation is the equivalent of a living garbage disposal? Maybe our sin nature has taken over and we are following an age old lie that has been fed to us for generations. "Peter's vision!" and "Christ did away with that!" we cry as we run to our ham and our shrimp. Through an analysis of of scientific facts and different scriptural arguments for and against this subject, we will examine the relevance of the food laws to us as Christians today.

First, we need to know what God designated as clean and unclean. In Leviticus 11:1-47 Israel as a nation was given the laws concerning what they should and should not eat, they are also given in Deuteronomy 14:1-24. The basic outline of these laws is this: 1. You may eat any animal that has a split hoof divided in two and chews the cud, but it must do both, not one or the other. Animals with paws are not clean. 2. You may eat any water creature that has fins and scales. Once again it must have both, not one or the other. 3. For winged creatures it states directly what kinds you can or cannot eat. They are all either birds of prey, or scavengers.


Now let us look at this, God obviously had a reason for saying we cannot eat these animals, after all, He created them. I believe the main on is found in Deuteronomy 30:15-16 when Moses says: "15See I have set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. 16For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess." I believe that verse is very clear in its meaning, the following of the Lord's law means the difference between "life and prosperity, death and destruction" The following are a few more reasons that I believe apply: Did you know that the pig carries in it's body ten times the amount of arsenic it would take to kill a person? It does, that is the way God made it. In the earlier centuries pigs were kept by the garbage dump to help with waste management, by eating it. Also, did you know that if an area is over-fished for shrimp the water becomes polluted? They are made to do in water what pigs do on land, clean it. so are catfish and shrimp for that matter, and shellfish. Crabs are scavengers, eating all sorts of things, dead or alive. Like I mentioned before, the birds that are forbidden are all predators or scavengers. The term "you are what you eat" applies to animals as well as humans, whomever is eating whom. The basic function of these animals is to control and clean the environment. they were not created to be eaten and there are consequences for doing so, just as there are consequences for breaking any law.

Many times people will cite Peter's vision in Acts 10:9-22 saying that it meant that we can eat all the unclean animals now. I would like to point out a few things about this vision. First of all, notice that neither before during or after the vision did Peter kill and eat of the unclean animals. Do you think that Christ might have explained to the apostles that they didn't have to follow the laws anymore? Yet we see Peter, who obviously saw a need to follow the laws, astonished when God suggests that he go and eat the unclean animals. Notice also that he was puzzled about the meaning of the vision afterwards, this was no cut and dried thing. But when Peter is called to the Gentile Cornelius' house, he gives us the meaning of the vision from his own mouth, saying in verse 28: "But God has shown me that I should not call any man clean or unclean." To say that vision meant anything else is to contradict the Word.

Am I saying then, that Christ's death meant nothing if we are to follow the law? No, I believe that Christ is the way the truth and the life and that no one may come unto the Father except through Him. But I want you to look at some of Christ's own words in Matthew 5:17-18 "17"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished."

Is all accomplished yet? No, Christ's return is the final accomplishment that has yet to come. When Christ speaks of the Law, many will say that He is referring to the Ten Commandments, yet they two are separate things things. Look at Matthew 22:37-40 "37Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' 40All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." I would like to call to attention verse 40 and note that the commandments are spoken of as a separate thing from the Law, therefore, in Matt. 5, Christ must be speaking about the whole of the Law, not just the ten commandments.

The ten commandments take up just 15 verses in the book of Deuteronomy, the Law is given throughout the whole book. I find it strange that we should have ourselves follow the moral code without following the Law. I believe the Laws God set in place ion the Old Testament still apply to us today, with the exception of the ritual ordinances given to the Levitical priesthood. Christ was the perfect atoning sacrifice and by Him we now have a way to follow the Law, a way back to God.

When Christ died, did the anatomy of a pig change? How about the anatomy of the shrimp? Did government and economy fail? Did gravity itself fail? No, yet all of these things were designated by God and addressed in the Law, but do you remember what did happen? Matthew 27:51 "At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom." No longer did we need blood sacrifices and burnt offerings for atonement. No longer did we need priests as intercessors, nor did God dwell in a temple. Christ took the place of all of that. Once again I will ask you though, was the makeup of creation and the laws of nature and nation which God set into place abolished? My answer, which comes from a journey of seeking the truth which I am still on, is no.

It is said in 2 Corinthians 13:1 that "Every matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses" and here we have two: 1.The word of the Lord God almighty. 2.The observances taken from His creation that surrounds us. I will leave you with just one more:2004-Twenty people die from vibrio after eating contaminated oysters.Oyster fishing banned in parts of the New England coast due to the high level of Red Tide growth.-Meanwhile in Mid America, down the street at the local grocery store-Oysters on sale for holiday season! Only $5.99 a pound!


Once again, the news story above is true, but the add above is fictional. I'm sure you could find one like it though. I now leave it to you and yours to consider the matter. May the Lord grant you wisdom and discernment."

In Christ,
Caitlin

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

HOME!!!!

I don't think I have ever been so glad to be out of the car. Ever. What a trip we had! Let me see...you can read all about our wonderful time in Montana (I miss it so much!) at thearkanbloggers.blogspot.com I will be posting some more pictures and videos up very soon (as soon as my camera battery charges so I can extract pictures). For now, I will do this short little post here.

The reason I was so happy to get out of the car was this: we left Montana on Saturday hoping to possibly get home on Sunday. We ended up in Rapid City (not the length we needed to go) because of weather. We left the next morning trying to get to Fayetville AR (I think that was a bit ambitious, maybe it was just me...) but we did not make it there either. We were in Council Bluffs Iowa (the middle of nowhere in my opinion) on New Years Eve. I was thankful for a hotel room at that point. We had been driving on black ice trying to find one with vacancy. We got the last room. The next day we FINALLY made it home. I think it was worth it though, being as our trip was so wonderful. We are truly blessed. Look for more posts coming soon. For now I must finish my work on the family blog.

God Bless,

Paige