Saturday, 31 May 2008
This were taken about a month ago.
Josiah at dining room, watching "Curious George"
Josiah in the bedroom, "check whether you can understand what I said!"
Tuesday, 27 May 2008
There is probably a few times in our lifes whereby we try to plan something seriously. Like for my own wedding day, I did numerous of research before decide what I want or who to engage. I read review from internet before I book my hotel in States, not to mention how travel guide that I read over and over again. We might plan all so well, so detail, exhausting all possibility. But often times, we forget the "main essence" of all decision. That is to involve God.
Learn the lesson from me and don't reap the consequences for our "poor plan". Oh yes, it might sound perfect when you first come out with it, but not anymore when something struck and it went horribly wrong. There are probably hundreds of poor plan that I've made, resulting me spending more money, more time, extra effort, not to express how do I feel so angry and disappointed. But let me tell you the recipe of a perfect plan, which is possible to achive without too much research, or reading stack of books, or spending much time asking in forum or surfing the net. Simple, ask God's help to show you HIS plan.
A perfect plan : Now, my in law just recently married. Prior to this, I often times had conversation with her asking about what kind of perfect honeymoon she'll dream on. She said she'd loved to go to US and visit DisneyLand! Well, I've been wanting the same thing too. But having Josiah and household need won't even tempt me to go. But Lo and Behold! My husband was sent to conference in LA. Now, how slim is a chance for you to be sent to the exact place that you want to go? I should say, pretty slim! But there we were, enjoying ourselves in US Disneyland LA, and have half of the airfaires paid! To make things even more perfect, continue reading to find out. Well, at the end my in law decide to spend their honeymoon in Europe. Believe it or not, I had never stepped Europe despite about its stone throw distance. Moreover I have more financial things to worry about this year. But, 3 days before the submission deadline, my husband's supervisor suddenly wanted him to join a conference in Berlin this September! Struck twice for conference is pretty rare, yet it happens. Some people probably did the math and wonder how can I have more than 25 days holiday in a year?? Remember, that I was made redundant whereby my last pay day is 29 Feb'08 but I don't have to come to office since mid January, get a job in early February 08 (starting right after I return back from US on 24th Feb). So in theory, this year I have 25+14 days holiday, all paid!
I don't plan my holiday. God plans it for me (plus He provide the FUND!!)
Anyone who jealous of my holiday should try my recipe. It works!
Click the image to enlarge and see the amazing details.
So what do you think? More picture at http://www.lazarobridal.com/
Monday, 26 May 2008
This large chandelier has an ornate, plant-like cream and gold coloured frame with a cluster of leaves and crystals. (JohnLewis, Johann 3 arm chandelier) Don't you think it matched so well with theme of my bedroom?
my bed, pascia!
Yep, I think that fit nicely in my french styled bedroom! What do you think?
Friday, 23 May 2008
Now I just wait for my working visa to be approved (extended), keep on trusting my Lord!
Monday, 19 May 2008
(The Independent Paper)
Foreigners living in Britain will be expected to go through a new expanded citizenship process or leave the country, under new plans outlined by ministers today.
The Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said she wanted to end the situation where foreign nationals "languish in limbo" by living here but not adapting to the British way of life.
Even the ultra-wealthy - who can currently avoid some of the conditions imposed on less well-off immigrants - will be expected to apply for British nationality or permanent residence.
"I would want to see a larger proportion of those that are here moving to full British citizenship," said Ms Smith.
"You will not be able to languish in limbo. Once your period of temporary residence comes to an end you will need to apply for the next stage or leave."
Winning citizenship will take at least six years from the point someone arrives in the UK, a year longer than at present because of a new stage of "probationary citizenship".
The probation period will last 12 months if the foreigner takes part in community activities such as volunteering, charity fund-raising, running a sports team or playgroup, or working as a school governor.
Migrants who do not take part in community work will have to wait longer - the existing five years plus a minimum of three years' probation.
This type of community work may even be made compulsory, said a Green Paper published today.
The rules will not apply to Europeans - including those from the eastern European countries which recently joined the EU.
But Ms Smith also announced a new review of access to welfare payments, such as child benefit, by people from other European Economic Area countries.
Immigration minister Liam Byrne said current take-up rates for British citizenship were low among certain foreigners - such as Filipinos (50 per cent), Australians (49 per cent) and Americans (40 per cent).
"There are some residents from some parts of the world who are languishing in limbo for some considerable period of time," he said.
Ms Smith went on: "I don't think it is a good thing to have people who are permanently living here but have not taken that step towards permanent citizenship."
Full access to benefits - such as jobseeker's allowance and income support - will no longer be granted after a person has been in the UK for five years.
Applicants will instead have to wait until they have completed their probationary period.
New conditions will be introduced on winning British citizenship, such as an emphasis on being law-abiding.
Migrants who have served a prison sentence would be barred from citizenship and could be removed from the country, the Green Paper said.
If human rights laws prevented someone with a criminal record from being removed from Britain, they would have to serve five years' probationary citizenship, it added.
Minor offenders could have to serve three years' probationary citizenship, and extra time could also be imposed on applicants who had been convicted of violent, drug or sex offences.
Parents whose children commit crime could be barred from citizenship or permanent residence in the UK, the document suggested.
"If people won't play by the rules in this country their journey to citizenship should be halted or slowed down," said Ms Smith.
A new fund financed by a surcharge on immigration applications will be set up to give cash to areas of the country which experience problems due to immigration - such as over-subscribed schools.
The fund is expected to raise tens of millions of pounds a year.
Higher levies will be imposed on groups such as children and elderly people who use more public services.
Ms Smith said there were new moves to review how European nationals in Britain are able to claim some benefits in the UK.
"We will be setting up a cross-departmental unit to look at access to benefits for European Economic Area nationals," she said.
Asked if it would examine hand-outs such as child benefit - which is currently paid to 69,000 children whose eastern European parents joined the EU in 2004 - Ms Smith said: "Yes, it's those type of issues.
"We know there are very many of our European partners who want to see a benefits system that works in a larger Europe and in the context which we now have."
A draft Bill based on today's proposals is due this summer with full legislation expected in November.
Changes will apply to new arrivals after the new laws are passed, and not to foreigners already living in the UK, so reforms are only likely to affect migrants arriving from 2010.
Saturday, 17 May 2008
This page explains in detail the various tiers of the new points-based system, including how it works, the five tiers, the points-based assessment and sponsorship duties.
Please note: The detail of point- based system are being finalised so some aspects are still subject to change. The information given on this website will be regularly updated over the coming months, so re-visit this site to get the latest information.
A points based system: five tiers
Underpinning the new immigration system is a five tier framework. This will help people understand how the system works and direct applicants to the category that is most appropriate for them. The tiers are:
Tier 1: Highly skilled individuals to contribute to growth and productivity;
Tier 2: Skilled workers with a job offer to fill gaps in United Kingdom labour force;
Tier 3: Limited numbers of low skilled workers needed to fill temporary labour shortages;
Tier 4: Students;
Tier 5: Youth mobility and temporary workers: people allowed to work in the United Kingdom for a limited period of time to satisfy primarily non-economic objectives.
The five tiers have different conditions, entitlements and entry-clearance checks. This will make the system easier to understand and use and allow us to adapt our policy on points and sponsorship to the very different needs of those entering the United Kingdom to work or study.
Tiers 3 and 5 are temporary routes and migrants in them will not be able to switch out of them once they are in the United Kingdom. Those in tiers 1, 2 and 4 will be eligible to switch between these tiers subject to meeting the requirements of the tier they want to switch to. Tiers 1 and 2 will potentially lead to settlement if settlement requirements are met at the time of that application.
Dependants are allowed under tiers 1, 2, 4 and 5. However, dependants are not be allowed to work where accompanying a student (Tier 4) or a temporary worker (Tier 5) who has been given less than 12 months leave in the United Kingdom.
Tier 1 has four separate categories:
General: if migrants are looking for highly skilled employment in the United Kingdom, or are self-employed or setting up a business;
Investor: if you are making a large investment in the United Kingdom;
Entrepreneur: if you are investing in the United Kingdom by setting up or taking over the running of a business;
Post-study: if you are studying now and have in past in the United Kingdom, and also to boost the United Kingdom as a somewhere you want to come as an international student to keep the best international graduates.
Phase 1: if you are in the United Kingdom and are eligible to switch into tier 1, or you are applying from India;
Phase 2: if you are applying from the rest of the world, and the remaining tier 1 categories (investors, entrepreneurs and post-study), both in and outside the United Kingdom and will be implemented in the summer of 2008.
Categories for tiers 2 to 5 will launch later as the tiers are phased in.
For each tier, applicants need to score enough points to gain entry clearance or leave to remain in the United Kingdom. Points are awarded based on objective and transparent criteria. We also look at whether the applicant is likely to comply with their immigration requirements in the United Kingdom.
In Tier 1 - highly skilled workers and
Tier 2 - skilled workers with a job offer, points are awarded for attributes such as age, previous salary or prospective salary and qualifications. Prospective applicants can assess themselves against these criteria using our points-based calculator, which is an online self-assessment tool, to see whether they have enough points to qualify before paying an application fee.
Points allow us to have an objective way of making decisions and to trade off attributes against each other. The highly skilled migrants programme is already based on points and we have found this approach to be successful. We are able to rely on a more structured and objective decision making process which is more transparent and easier to use for applicants.
Under Tier 1: (General) applicants must score at least 95 points. This must include at least 75 points scored for primary attributes and, in all cases, 10 points each for English language and maintenance (funds).
Employers and institutions play a crucial part in making sure the system is not abused. Employers and institutions must apply for a licence to sponsor and bring migrants in to the United Kingdom, and meet a number of sponsorship duties.
All applicants in tiers 2 to 5 must give a certificate of sponsorship from a licensed sponsor when applying to come to the United Kingdom or for permission to stay.
All sponsors are given an A or B rating when they are licensed, which will be published on our website on the register of sponsors. Prospective employees or students will therefore be able to see the rating and take it into account in deciding which sponsor to choose.
A B-rating is a transitional rating. This means the B-rated sponsor will have to improve their performance sufficiently within a relatively short time period, to be upgraded to an A-rating, or risk having their licence withdrawn.
A sponsorship action plan will be drawn up, listing the steps that they need to take in order fully to comply with your sponsorship duties and obtain an A-rating.
Serious breaches of the rules may lead to sponsors being removed from the register of sponsors and prevented from employing migrant workers.The method for deciding whether you qualify to come to work, train or study in the United Kingdom under our points-based system. To qualify, you must earn a certain number of points in various categories. The responsibilities organisations have when they sponsor migrants under the points-based system. The duties are record keeping, reporting, compliance, co-operating with us and tier specific duties.The categories for which you may score points to meet the requirements to apply to come to the United Kingdom under the points-based system. The categories are: qualifications, earnings, age, and United Kingdom experience.This term is applied to a sponsor under the points-based system for coming to the United Kingdom to work, train or study. It is the rating awarded by us when a sponsor joins the register of sponsors. A B rating is a transitional rating for a sponsor who is under a sponsorship action plan.
This is definetely a late post! I was so busy and have no time to upload the picture on time. Sometimes last week we were at stoke goldington steam rally out of coincidence (yes, we didn't plan it at all! even Josiah had to buy a new slipper because wearing shoe was unquestionably hot!) .
So what is in there in "Steam rally"?
Well... there is fun fair, a lot of occasional shop, antique car... and of course, steam engine.
And more cars....
And more antique cars....
And here it is, the core of the festival. That's right, ANTIQUE STEAM ENGINE..!!! (Probably Josiah can't tell the similarity between Thomas and this one). There is about 20 Steam engine on the field that day.
Traction engines tend to be large, robust and powerful, but heavy, slow, and poorly maneuverable. Nevertheless, they revolutionized agriculture and road haulage at a time when the only alternative prime mover was the draught horse.
They became popular in industrialised countries from around 1850, when the first self-propelled portable steam engines for agricultural use were developed. Production continued well into the early part of the 20th century, when competition from internal combustion engine -powered tractors saw them fall out of favour, although some continued in commercial use in the UK into the 1950s and later. All types of traction engines have now been superseded, in commercial use. However, several thousand examples have been preserved worldwide, many in working order. Steam fairs are held throughout the year in the UK, and in other countries, where visitors can experience working traction engines at close hand.
Traction engines were cumbersome and ill-suited to crossing soft or heavy ground so their agricultural use was usually either "in the belt" – powering farm machinery by means of a continuous leather belt driven by the flywheel – or in pairs, dragging an implement on a cable from one side of a field to another. However, where soil conditions permitted, direct hauling of implements ("off the drawbar") was preferred – in the U.S., this lead to the divergent development of the steam tractor.
Tuesday, 13 May 2008
I surely change that attitude since I've stranded in UK. Things is much harder to get here, even when you have quite a bit on your pocket to spend. I have to pray hard for almost anything, getting a decent place in college, getting an affordable house, a mortgage, a job, a church, you name it. When I say "pray hard" it doesn't mean I try to force God to grant my request. But rather, to ask God to give me wisdom to accept his plan of answering on my needs.
For the last couple of weeks we'd been praying for our mortgage to be approve. Which to me appear to be only 20% chance, yet God had make this 20% not only a chance but a reality. This morning, Yusdi and I had been praying about our car MOT, which frankly speaking never pass any single test without spending 150 GBP, fair enough for 10 year old car. But our God who can make human out of dust, just show us that He able to make our 10 year old car pass its MOT test.
Monday, 12 May 2008
Mar 8:10 And straightway he entered into a ship with his disciples, and came into the parts of Dalmanutha.
Mar 8:11 And the Pharisees came forth, and began to question with him, seeking of him a sign from heaven, tempting him.
Mar 8:12 And he sighed deeply in his spirit, and saith, Why doth this generation seek after a sign? verily I say unto you, There shall no sign be given unto this generation.
Mar 8:13 And he left them, and entering into the ship again departed to the other side.
Jesus had just finished performing his miracle feeding the four thousands. He had dispersed the crowd and sailed to a different place along the coast of Galilee.
By this time Jesus was already a famous “prophet” in Israel, known for his miracles: healing the sick (Mark 2:12, 3:5, 5:29, 7:35), cleansing the leper (Mark 1:42), casting demons (Mark 1:34, 3:11, 5:15, 7:29), raising the dead (Mark 5:42), calming the storm (Mark 4:39), feeding multitudes (Mark 6:41, Mark 8:7). Indeed the multitudes were astonished and testified that “He hath done all things well: he maketh both the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak” (Mark 7:37).
As soon as he arrived, a group of Pharisees disputed with Him, wanting to see a sign confirming His messianic role. The sentence here suggests that they are trying to find faults and to tempt the Lord.
But the Lord would not play their little game. He knew what was in their heart. These people had seen so many miracles, more than any prophets had ever done, yet they still look for another sign. The phrase “a sign from heaven” refers to a spectacular miracle in the sky. After all, many prophets in Israel performed miracles in the heaven: Moses (darkness across Egypt – Exodus 10), Joshua (the sun stood still for a day – Joshua 10), Elijah (no rain for 3 years – 1 King 17, fire from heaven – 1 King 18), etc. The Lord knew that this request for miracle was just a ploy. Even if another miracle were shown, they would not be satisfied and would ask for another one.
Jesus is not in a “sign making” business. His miracles were always done to confirm and substantiate His teachings and authority. He did not perform miracles for the sake of fame or to entertain and satisfy His crowds. Jesus is in the “salvation” business. He came to seek and find the lost and to bring deliverance to the needy.
Many today have the same attitude as the Pharisees. There are group of people who do not want to believe in God until they see a miracle. But they have seen miracles, everyday. The Bible says that “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handiwork.” (Psalm 19:1), yet the scoffers say it is the “big bang”. The Bible says that we are “wonderfully and fearfully made” (Psalm 139:14), instead people rather have ape-like creature as their ancestors. And how about the greatest miracle of all, God became man and dwelled among us? There would be no greater miracle than the life, death, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Yet, people said that He is “just a great teacher”, that He “was a good man”. Some even claim that Jesus is a fiction.
Well said the story preached by Jesus in Luke chapter 16. Here the rich man in hell begged Abraham that he let the poor but righteous Lazarus to rise from the dead and tell his family about the impending judgment.
Luk 16:27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house:
Luk 16:28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.
Luk 16:29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.
Luk 16:30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.
Luk 16:31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.
If the clear and plain words of the Scriptures are not sufficient, then the problem is in the heart. Just like the Pharisees, people do not believe not because of lack of evidence, but they do not believe because they do not want to believe.
On the other spectrum, there are people who would readily embrace Christianity, but only to do so to experience the spectaculars. This kind of people flock to stadiums and meeting halls to see the latest and greatest of “Christian” showmanship. The problem with this kind of Christianity is that people would expect more and greater miracles every time. When the spectacular ceases and the message get hard and convicting, they would just leave to find the next “Christian idols.” Even Jesus also experienced this kind of crowd. In John chapter 6, He performed his miracle feeding the five thousands. The day after, He preached a hard message. The hearers murmured and said “This is a hard saying; who can hear it?” (verse 60) and many left him ever since (verse 66).
Apostle Paul said that God’s work is done through the “foolish preaching of the Gospel. “ (1 Cor 1:17) People are saved through faith by hearing the words of God (Rom 10:17), not through seeing signs and wonders. Judas had seen more miracles than most Christians, yet he died in his unbelief. Who can claim that they have seen more spectacular miracles than Peter? He had seen the Lord transfigured into His glory, yet in his letter (2Peter 1:19) he said that he had “a more sure word of prophecy” even better than his seeing the miracles.
Finally, there are also people who call themselves believers but would not submit to God’s revealed will in the Bible. This is as bad as or perhaps even worse than the two groups before. The definition of a hypocrite is a person who says one thing but do something opposite. If you claim to be a Christian, a follower of Christ, and call Jesus as your Lord, where is the obedience?
Mal 1:6 A son honoreth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honor? and if I be a master, where is my fear? …
The Sad Departure
Notice in the last verse, “and He left them. “ What a sad situation it would be when God has enough of you and decided to leave you alone. You might deceive yourself by saying, “I would enjoy my life while I am young and perhaps get saved when I am old and about to die.” The Bible states that God’s spirit does not always strive with men (Genesis 6:3). In Hosea 4:17, God said “Ephraim is joined to idols: let him alone.“ It would be the saddest day in your live when you seek for repentance carefully with tears like Esau but are not able to find it (Hebrew 12:16-17).
If you are a Christian, perhaps you know what God want you to do, but you decide to go your own way. God said, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” (Gal 6:7). There will be pay day someday!
Oh how we should keep watch for that old and worn sign of the Cross that lead us to the true and living way. Do not be side tracked by flashy and glitzy billboards that point you to hell!
Mat 7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
Mat 7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
This message is by no mean me looking down on other people. This message speaks much to me as well. There are areas in my life that need straightening up, but I am glad that I have that help from Him who is able to make me stand (Rom 14:4). How about you? Where do you put your trust on?
Sunday, 11 May 2008
And there is Josiah with Mr. Carrot. This fluffy toy was my present for Yusdi years ago (believe me, he likes both programming and soft toys!) And now claimed as Josiah sleeping buddies. I reassure you grandparents, both Josiah and Mr. Carrot are still equally FAT in their looks.
Friday, 9 May 2008
Why do programmers always mix up Halloween and Christmas?
Because Oct 31 equals Dec 25.
A man is smoking a cigarette and blowing smoke rings into the air. His girlfriend becomes irritated with the smoke and says, "Can't you see the warning on the cigarette pack? Smoking is hazardous to your health!"
To which the man replies, "I am a programmer. We don't worry about warnings; we only worry about errors."
Two strings walk into a restaurant and sit down. The waiter says, "So what'll it be?"
The first string says, "I think I'll have a roast chickenquag fulk boorg jdk^CjfdLk jk3s d#f67howe%^U r89nvy~~owmc63^Dz x.xvcu"
"Please excuse my friend," the second string says, "He isn't null-terminated."
very long pause….
How many programers dose it take to change a light bulb?
None - It's a hardware problem
Two bytes meet. The first byte asks, "Are you ill?"
The second byte replies, "No, just feeling a bit off."
wildflower & forest theme (pink/red)
Contemporary theme cake
It's probably the most lovely SMS I read this year. Thanks God! Despite all the news that mortgage approval is very low this year (and incoming year) because economy slowdown. And despite the fact that we applied one of most favorite lender, First Direct(their website even mention that no more mortgage applicants at this moment, because too many people applying!!) The Lord has made all possible for us to get a mortgage with a low interest rate!
Now.... I am just praying for my visa.
Wednesday, 7 May 2008
If you happen to pass by Britain this summer, probably you'll see this view almost at every corner of its country side. This beautiful yellow bloom is no wild flowers (even when my tag said so), but rather a kind of crop planted by local farmers.
Rapeseed is grown for the production of animal feed, vegetable oil for human consumption, and biodiesel; leading producers include the European Union, Canada, the United States, Australia, China and India. In India, it is grown on 13% of cropped land. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, rapeseed was the third leading source of vegetable oil in the world in 2000, after soybean and oil palm, and also the world's second leading source of protein meal, although only one-fifth of the production of the leading soybean meal.
And then, I came to know why it's called Canola oil!
Natural rapeseed oil contains erucic acid, which is mildly toxic to humans in large doses but is used as a food additive in smaller doses.
Canola, originally a syncopated form of the abbreviation "Can.O., L-A." (Canadian Oilseed, Low-Acid) that was used by the Manitoba government to label the seed during its experimental stages, is now a tradename for low erucic acid rapeseed.
Rapeseed oil is used in the manufacture of biodiesel for powering motor vehicles. Biodiesel may be used in pure form in newer engines without engine damage, and is frequently combined with fossil-fuel diesel in ratios varying from 2% to 20% biodiesel.