Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage . . . They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.
~Psalm 84:5

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Testing 1, 2, 3

Hey, is this mic on? [Puff, puff.] Hello, everybody out there, this is Tirzah. I am part of this crazy blogcrew now. Just thought I'd come on stage and say Hello and that I'm glad to be aboard. I'll talk to y'all later, but for now, Happy New Year! [Applause.] Thank you, thank you very much.

Feliz Ano Nuevo!

Happy New Year, everyone!
I know it's a bit early, but I'm heading up to Waco this afternoon and won't be able to post until Sunday.
Is it just me, or has this year flown by. I was just hanging out with good old Elaine here in H-town and we were just talking about all the changes that have occurred in just one year. It's been a year full of transition - we're real grown-ups now. That's so weird! She's working up in DC and I'm unemployed in Texas.
*sigh* Seeing her made me miss the good old days. Yes, I even miss the term papers and all-nighters; I know, it's pathetic.
Anywho, although I can't believe it's 2005 I'm excited to see what this new year has in store for me. I don't know if it can be better than this last year - graduating college, having a spacewalk at my graduation party, AND being out of the country for a third of the year will be hard to top. But it will be fun to see what God has in store.
Last New Years Eve was spent in Barton House, having a dance party/flour fight. I know I can't top that this year, so I'm settling for staying up with my brother and sister-in-law for a Lord of the Rings marathon (I got the box set, "special extended dvd edition" for Christmas!). So I'll see how this year's measures up to last and get back to you.
May God bless you and keep you in this coming year. And may you know the goodness of His character as you experience His peace and love!

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Literary Update

I finally finished reading Jude the Obscure. Actually, I finished reading it about three weeks ago, but I've just been too lazy to bump it off my list. Pathetic, I know.

Despite his pessimism, I rather enjoy reading Thomas Hardy. I was first exposed to his work in high school, where we read bits of Far From the Maddening Crowd. I liked it so much I went out and bought it. However, I found it too difficult to read and gave up. That was years before I decided to become an English major in college. Now I'm addicted to British novels. Up until seven months ago I practically lived in the late 19th century for two years.

Anywho, I read Tess of the d'Urbervilles last spring and wrote a term paper about Tess and Hardy's description of her as a "pure woman." I received an A for it from a very difficult Baylor professor, thank you very much! This professor mentioned how Jude the Obscure caused such an outrage it was the last novel he ever wrote; after that he wrote poetry. Most in the class hadn't read the book (sadly, most of us were graduating seniors), so he wouldn't tell us what exactly happened to cause such a negative reaction from Hardy's contemporaries. So I picked the book up at Barnes and Noble and decided to find out for myself. It took nearly three months, but I got through it, and I really enjoyed it!

There were some rather depressing parts, and it alarms me that my friend Brandon says it's practically his autobiography. But I have grown to love Hardy's writing style. He's novels are oozing with symbolism and drenched in irony. I love that! Although at times it does feel a little overdone; but what do I know? - I can barely write a poem!

Eventually I shall like to write an essay over JtO. Hardy has some excellent themes in that novel, including pagan vs. sacred, love vs. lust/passion, city-life vs. rural/country-life and society vs. the individual. It seems those themes appear in many of Hardy's novels. I actually miss discussing topics like these in a classroom setting! I also miss having to read more than one book. Granted, a novel a week was a bit much; but I was stilled exposed to far more than I am now!

Maybe one of these days I'll post something more specific about Jude. But don't hold your breath.

Friday, December 24, 2004

It's a Christmas Miracle!

It's snowing in Houston!!! I can't believe it!
I went out this morning to do some last minute shopping with my dad and brother and I heard on the radio that it started snowing a bit around 11:30. About 15 minutes later we were waiting at a stop light and I saw a few flakes. Ever since then a bit of snow and sleet has fallen off and on. But about ten minutes ago it started snowing harder than I've ever seen this far down south. It's a miracle!
I got an email from my friend Ewelina this morning and she said it's weird because it's not snowing over in Poland now. She says it always snows at Christmas. It never snows here at Christmas, so thanks for sending us some snow Poland! =o)

The Niece

Abigail at six months.
She's TEN months already! and her hair is growing out cute and curly! I'll try to post a recent pic soon. Posted by Hello

The Second Nephew

Grandma introduces Daniel to his new baby sister . . . and he isn't too happy about it! Posted by Hello

The First Nephew

Our delivery boy... Posted by Hello

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Happy Anniversary!

Today my Mom and Dad celebrated their 32nd anniversary. My parents are such a blessing and Godly example to me and my brothers. They have sacrificed time and time again for us over the years. Thanks Mom and Dad! I love you!

My brother, Eric, and his wife, Brandi, celebrated their 7th anniversary on the 21st. For only being married 7 years, they have probably gone through more difficult times than people who have been married 50 years. Not only do they keep their faith through it all, they keep on laughing and I greatly admire them for that. Happy anniversary Bird and Bran! I know there are many more and better years to come! Just keep them adorable children coming.

But there's more . . .

Yesterday, my maternal grandparents celebrated their 58th wedding anniversary. 58 YEARS OF MARRIAGE! How amazing is that, eh? They have both had long and fulfilling lives. Our family is blessed to still have them with us. I love you Grandma and Grandpa! May you have 58 more years of marriage! =o)

Happy Birthday

Today my best friend, Becca, turned 25. Happy birthday, Becca!!!
I went over to her house and her dad cooked us up an AMAZING meal of steak and baked potatoes. Mmmm. I don't know what was better: the food or the Finding Nemo decorations. No worries, Becca is not a weirdo; she just let her 5 and 2 year-old nieces plan the party. Shoot, I'd love to have a Finding Nemo cake at my next birthday! Of course, this is coming from someone who ordered a spacewalk for my college graduation party. Dang, that was a fun party!
Anywho, I hope you had a great birthday, Bec. I'm glad we'll be living in the same city again, so we can hang out. I'm praying that this year will be the best you've had so far. May God bless you and keep you. I love you, girlie! You rock my socks off! =o)

Back in Business

YAY!!! We have internet again! They came and set it up just two days after we moved in, and I am oh so excited. But the best thing is my parent's finally came out of the ice age and got road runner instead of a dial-up service. All those years at Baylor spoiled me, so I'm happy to have a faster connection again. Faster internet will definitely make blogging and emailing easier!

The house is great too! It's way bigger than the one we were in, and it's in a relatively posh neighborhood. Well, it's the nicest neighborhood we've ever lived in at least.

I can't believe tomorrow is Christmas Eve! This year went by SO FAST. My oldest brother got into town this evening. My other brother and his family will arrive tomorrow afternoon, so we'll have a full house for a few days. It's always fun, though. This is my favorite time of year!

Monday, December 20, 2004

My Favorite Christmas Carol

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
by Rev. Issac Watts

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appears

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee O Israel

O come, thou rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan's tyranny
From depths of hell thy people save
And give them vict'ry o'er the grave

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee O Israel

O come, O Dayspring, come and cheer
Our spirits by thine advent here
And drive away the shaves of night
And pierce the clouds and bring us light

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee O Israel

O come, Thou Key of David, come
And open wide our heavenly home
Make safe the way that leads on high
And close the path to misery

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee O Israel

O come, O come, Thou Lord of might
Who to thy tribes, on Sinai's height
In ancient times did'st give the law
In cloud and majesty and awe

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee O Israel

Cardboard Forests

My parents and I have spent the weekend living in a cardboard forest. Seriously. We had packers here until midnight on Friday (I didn't exaggerate when I said we have a lot of crap.) But the forest will be gone come tomorrow. The loaders are supposed to arrive sometime in the morning. Then we get to head to Houston. Yay!!!

It will be a busy week of unpacking and setting up house (as well as Christmas decorations) for the rest of the family coming in. We won't even be in the house for a week before we have to host people! Good thing it's only by brothers and company.

I am exhausted! My mom and I spent the day shopping. I hate shopping this time of year. I tend to get annoyed easily in large crowds. But it was a fruitful excursion. We got most everyone on our list. Believe it or not, that's good for my family. Ask my brothers and they would say that Mom usually did her shopping on Christmas Eve. Every single year, before we went to Grandma's, we had to stop by the store. We were given more time when our annual family celebration was moved from Christmas Eve to Christmas day about eight years ago(My brother Eric is still bitter about that; he blames Mark and Danielle, our aunt and uncle. They wanted to start going to the Christmas Eve service and our tradition fizzled out after that).

Anywho, it will be nice to be living in Houston again. I'm off to bed now. I don't know how long I'll be without internet, so farewell for now. Merry Christmas!!!

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Packing Days

As I write this, the two women who have been packing up our house since 9am are finally heading home. That's a 10 hour day, people! I can't imagine having a job where you spend 10 hours packing up someone else's house. I wonder how much they get paid? But my mom will say it's rude to ask, so I won't bother asking. I hope it's well above minimum wage. We have a lot of crap. They've spent most of the day going through the boxes we have piled in the garage. Pretty sad, eh? Some are from when I moved home from college and others are from five years ago when my parents first moved into this house. Many of the boxes contain classroom materials from when my mom was teaching six years ago. I guess I shouldn't complain, because if I do start teaching next year I can save tons of money by using her stuff.

Tomorrow is the second packing day. It's also suppose to be the last packing day. But as I look around I can't help but think it will take an act of God to get everything packed by the end of the day. I told my dad if God called us to move back to Houston He should get all of our stuff there as well. Dad says that's what the packers and movers are for.

I'm not particularly sad about moving. There's not really anything for me here in San Antonio. There are a few family friends and an old college roommate. My old roommate, Jessica, is also a newly wed so we don't even get to hang out much. When she's not at work and when Luke's not at work they are together. Although I'm good friends with both of them I know they don't have much time to be together. I love hanging out with her and we've lived in the same city for years, so it'll be sad leaving her. But that's about all I'll miss. All the extended family is in Houston as well as very promising job leads. I hope I find a good church soon . . . my spirit is yearning for Christian fellowship. Anyone out there know of any churches? I'm willing to drive anywhere!!!

So life is finally starting to settle down. But things will probably be stressful getting ready for Christmas next week! I'm excited, though. Especially since we'll be in a house big enough to hold all of us. Maybe now my loser brothers will come visit more often! I've kinda gotten used to living in the same city as them for the past six years. I especially hope Eric decides to bring his game cube.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Poem of the Day

A Conceit
by Maya Angelou

Give me your hand

Make room for me
to lead and follow
beyond this rage of poetry.

Let others have
the privacy of
touching words
and love of loss
of love.

For me
Give me your hand.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Sunday morning

Last Sunday morning my nephew Nathan was in the church's Christmas program. It was so cute because he was a sheep! All the four and five year olds went up on stage to sing about four songs and there were two nativity scenes complete with Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus, a cow and a sheep. The cow and sheep on Nathan's side of the stage were in their own little world, talking to each other and playing with the hay. The program in general was adorable.

My sister-in-law took Nathan to church early in my car and I rode with my brother and the other two kids. We were running late, especially after I asked Eric if he had remembered the camera after we were already halfway there. Unfortunately we forgot Abigail's diaper bag as well but didn't realize it until we were actually at church. She didn't have her pacey either. Then she lost a sock somewhere between the van and the church. Poor thing. At least it wasn't a very cold morning. I felt sorry for the preschool workers who had to deal with her wailing. I know she cried because when I went to pick her up she was dead aleep and there were still tears on her cheeks. I found the contrast between she and the little boy that got dropped off just before her rather humorous. You could tell the little boy was the first child because both his parents dropped him off, he was all bundled up complete with hat and socks and shoes, AND he had his diaper bag complete with pacey and sippy cup. Poor Abby. It's easier to forget things the more kids you have. This reminds me of the time we went out to eat and Nathan made it all the way to the restaurant without any shoes and without anyone noticing. But that's another story.

Nathan and Daniel loved the songs Nathan had to learn. They were singing "Baby Jesus, we love you" all week. Of course my brother always has to change words to songs. It progressed to "Baby Daniel, we love you," "Baby Nathan, we love you," and "Baby Abigail, we love you." Then the boys pick up where their daddy left off (my brother may have even started it) and sang "Baby Elmo, we love you," "Baby Barney, we love you," "Baby video, we love you," "Baby pizza, we love you." The list goes on and on. Their Christmas song is a far cry from the Christmas song Eric's bestfriend's daughter made up (Jared posted it last Monday over on The Thinklings). I'm not surprised.


My parents FINALLY found a house in Houston! Actually, it's in Katy, but that's close enough. I'm excited to finally get settled in somewhere. I have literally been living out of a suitcase for seven months. SEVEN MONTHS! Even though I had my own room in England for three months and have had my own room here for two months I never settled in. Especially since I've been traveling to Houston and Waco for the past couple of months. But I will finally have my own room and my own closet to fill with my own clothes. Praise the Lord!

My brother Eric is trying to get me to go work at Allstate Insurance. That's where he worked two years ago and he really enjoyed it. His boss loved him and said he'd hire him back anytime. Eric said he'll call and put in a good word for me if I want. I think I may try it just to try it. At this point, I need all the help I can get in finding a job somewhere - anywhere. I had originally planned to apply for an alternative teaching program in Pasadena, but wasn't able to meet the December 3rd deadline. Considering we'll be living in Katy I'm not too disappointed about that anymore.

Living with Mom and Dad is getting easier. I'm sure it will be even better after I get a job. But my secret is out: they know I know how to cook, so I've been doing a lot of it lately. I don't mind; I've always loved cooking for people.

Anywho, I just wanted to share the wonderful news. My transition out of college is finally starting to settle. It's about time!
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