Sunday, 31 August 2008

5 years and counting

Well, better late to post than ever. We wanted to thank the Lord for this wonderful 5 years being together.

Dream on....

I meant to blog about this long time ago. Let me tell you a little secret. Probably a wild imagination, but nevermind. I always dream on being... a stay-home-mom! Not much really. (Ok I heard you say that my expectation in life is so low). I must admit that I am quite envious to some of my christian friend (who mostly are pastor's wife) who are stay at home. Why?
First, I think it is impossible (yes, not possible) to be a good employee and a good mom at the same time. So, this is an exclusion if you are already married and childless (you can work to death if you want *evil laugh*). Let alone working 9-5 to please your boss and still have to go home, to cook food, feed your toddler, bathe him, put him to bed, do your devotion, spend time with your spouse, and don't forget...daily excercise (a wife must look good in front their husband). So, I dream that one day I can choose only one of the task, that is being a good mom, and having all the time in the world to do gardening, trying fancy recipe, and doing my hobby outside housework related stuff. Now, I don't have time to iron clothes (hey, if you found one folded count yourself lucky), no time to wash dishes (thanks to Yusdi and the dishwasher for taking turn), no time to clean up all the toy mess after Josiah's play around. But sometimes you can't really choose.
Second, I don't like 9-5 job. If my son already grown up and I find myself at home alone most of the time. I'd like to start working again, but for a job which is flexi hour. If you are a programmer there is such thing like working at home part time job which can still make you busy at your own time.
I know many of my friends (christian friends) who are a wife and a mum and still working in order to support her husband income. I do not agree 100% with this situation but I won't judge by say it is wrong to do so, because I knew some of them had to support their parents or relatives. But is it possible to live from a single income? of course! There are a lot of example around. What would be hard is (hard but not impossible): to down grade one's life standard from dual income spending to single income that's why many wife can't give up their paycheck. The thinking that "if I work, we can afford better house, better car, better education, and how about disposable income?". And I can see, as a chinese mindset, time is money, so why not work until death do us apart? Sorry folk, I am talking about quality, and not quantity.
Anyway, that is my dream, hope it will come true when my husband's back on track become the bread winner. Do you think we can afford sending kids to independent school with only one income? If God can move a mountain, create the whole world, sending a boy to independent school shouldn't be a problem. Ok, continue to dream on....

Friday, 29 August 2008

A good Repentance

Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgression. - Psalm 51:1


David wrote this Psalm after being confronted by Nathan,the prophet, concerning his sin with Bathsheba. David was a great sinner, but I think he was an even better repenter.
Repentance is NOT accepting oneself and learning to live with sin. Repentance is NOT finding yourself or expressing yourself. Repentance is NOT resolving the conflicts within or the tension without. Repentance is NOT reaching out, copying, changing your lifestyle, amending your ways or trying to do better.
Repentance is the God-given ability to see yourself like you really are in God's sight and agreeing with Him about the direction of your life and going His way. Repentance alters you and allows God to forgive you for the wrongs that had been done. It puts you on the right road, heading to the right direction,. It lets God deal with you on His term and NOT YOURS! The modification brought about in one's life by repenting is evidenced by the manner of the life experienced from then on. One old preacher said that the way you know if you've really repented of something is if you NEVER did it again. Souns like pretty good logic and religion to me - Tim Green (Baptist Bread)

Thursday, 28 August 2008

Gloomy Bright-ton

Before we head back home on Monday bank holiday, we had a chance to taste the southern beach of UK. Though the name is Brighton (supposedly came from Bright-twon) it was an unfortunate gloominess when we reached there.Despite of it's location, Brighton is not famous for it's beaches, one of the most famous thing to see is Royal Pavillion, which we just passed by this time.The Royal Pavilion is a former royal residence located in Brighton, England. It was built in the early 19th Century as a seaside retreat for the then Prince Regent. It is often referred to as the Brighton Pavilion. It is built in the Indo-Saracenic style prevalent in India for most of the 19th century.

Right back to topic, another thing Brighton is famous for is it's Gay and Lesbian life. Brighton has a substantial LGBT community, served by shops, bars and night-clubs in addition to support organisations. It is referred to as "the gay capital of Britain", in a similar vein to San Francisco in the USA and Cologne in Germany. Gay Pride carnival every August attracts thousands. It consists of a carnival parade and a party and funfair in Preston Park. There is also a "Winter Pride" in February. Actually, when we were talking about San Francisco, we were reminded about Sodom and Gomorrah a lot.

For us, the most interesting view is the pier for yacht.Some of the yachts were put on sale, we saw one at 32,000 GBP. Not too bad for an luxury item, I though porche must cost way beyond that.The wind were really strong, especially when we reached closer to the beachline.According to wikipedia, eight million tourists a year visit Brighton (yes, we were 6 of them). The town also has a substantial business conference industry. Brighton has two universities and a medical school.We both need to hold on to the handrail to prevent being blown away...!!!!! Some of you from far east might be asking "so where is the beach?". Well.... here is the beach.Yes, sandless beach, it's only peebles. No wonder beach like in phuket and bali is "to-die-for" beach compared to one in UK.Can you see the roller coaster from here? The Brighton Marine Palace and Pier is a pleasure pier in Brighton, England. It was generally known as the Palace Pier for short, before being informally renamed Brighton Pier in 2000 by its owners, the Noble Organistion.The seafront has bars, restaurants, nightclubs and amusement arcades, principally between the piers. Being less than an hour from London by train has made the city a popular destination. Brighton beach has anudist area (south of the easterly part of Kemptown). Brighton's beach, which is a sand-free shingle beach, has been awarded a blue flag. Rest assure neither of us join in as a part of NATURIST BEACH. Especially in this kind of weather?? no... no thanks. To our surprise that spot is NOT empty. No, it's not naked sealion or such. There are few crazy men trying the chill factor of the wind.Josiah amazingly remain cooperative since he woke up this morning. He took only a 15 min nap at about 11.30 in Brighton. Then he'd been monkeying around, explore the beach, ride the train, play in the playground, even behave well in italian restaurant wereby we stopped for lunch. Until we head home at 4.30 p.m. As a result, he was surely dead tired and sleep as soon as the car moves outside brighton city center.Look at those milk mark. He slept for 2.5 hour, and woke up when we reach Sainsbury for our weekly grocery shopping.

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Tulleys Farm

We had a great day last Sunday. First we were heading towards Wimbledon, not for tennis nope, but for church. This is my first visit to Bethel Baptist Chapel (129, The Broadway, London, SW19 1QJ, not a Strict Baptist, they only lease the building but the church is a fundamentalist church) a beautiful church gathering with beautiful singing. We enjoyed the message and the fellowship afterwards, the church was quite big however dominated by immigrants. I even forgot to take any single picture of it!

Later on that day we went to Bluebell railway and then Tulleys farm. The name thereof sounded like my pastor name, and lo and behold, there is a big american flag outside which confirm my suspicion. Unfortunately the farm was already closed, but we are free to wander about and see the sunflower field.Due to heavy rain in recent weeks, a lot of the sunflowers were already rot. Therefore not much nice spot to capture its beauty.
Josiah kept looking backwards. Behind me there are a big tractor which pulls loads of small chart filled with children (and adult). The road was very very...muddy. Which probably add the fun to it.
Tulleys farm normally has PYO (pick your own) of various kind of berries. Isn't that sounded fun? They also have huge bouncy castle inflated on their yard for the children to play.For more information about the farm, visit : http://www.tulleysfarm.com/

Bluebell railways

Thanks to Alice and Zonny for taking us to Bluebell railway. Apparently they know well that my son, Josiah, is a "fat controller" wannabe, and therefore well obsessed with anything "steamy".The trains are in fab condition considering their age. I am well amazed that this place were run by volunteers! They must be mad about train just like my son!We saw the couch being coupled and the the train buffered up and pull the passanger coach. We were so fortunate to see the last train left the platform at 4p.m. However, Josiah seems to be quite shock when he heard the train whistle. It was SO LOUD!The Bluebell Railway is a heritage line running for nine miles along the border between East Sussex and West Sussex, England. Steam trains are operated between Sheffield Park and Kingscote, with an intermediate station at Horsted Keynes.
The railway is managed and run largely by volunteers. It has the largest collection of steam locomotives after the National Railway Museum (NRM), and a collection of carriages and wagons unrivalled in the south of England. In addition to the 30 locomotives resident on the line, one is on loan from the NRM (another has recently returned there), and a project is well under way to recreate a long-lost type of locomotive (a London, Brighton and South Coast Railway H2 Class Atlantic) from a few surviving parts.
The Bluebell Railway was the first preserved standard gauge steam-operated passenger railway in the world: it opened on 7 August 1960, shortly after the line from East Grinstead to Lewes had been closed by British Railways. It also preserved a number of steam locomotives even before the cessation of steam service on British mainline railways in 1968.2007 marked the railway's 125th anniversary.Inside the train shed, we can see old trains parked there. Alice said Thomas used to be here. However the station probably have moved it.Josiah checking the brick.The Bluebell Railway Preservation Society completed an initial extension from Horsted Keynes to Kingscote in 1994, which included re-laying track through Sharpthorne Tunnel (731 yards/668 metres, the longest on a UK heritage railway), and is now working to reinstate the remaining two miles of line from Kingscote to East Grinstead.

Work has now started on the final northwards push towards East Grinstead, where the line will once again connect with the National Rail network. A major problem to be overcome is the former landfill site that fills a 50 metre deep cutting for part of the route. Some 300,000 cubic metres of rubbish will be removed by convoys of road freighters. Some of the excavated clay will being taken south by rail to help fill the site of a removed bridge and embankment on the old Ardingly spur. In January 2008 agreement was given to start the clearance of foliage on the section of the tip between Imberhorne Lane and Hill Place bridges. This work has now been completed.

It is hoped that in the future the Ardingly spur will also reconnect with National Rail, and thus gain access to the London to Brighton main line at Copyhold Junction. This will restore a bypass of the London–Brighton line which proved very useful in the past (during the Second World War the signal box at Horsted Keynes was manned night and day to provide an alternative route for troop trains). There is also occasional speculation about long-term plans to extend south towards Lewes; but the removal of the road bridge just south of Sheffield Park station, the in-filling of the cutting and route under the A272 road, and the housing development that was built on the site of Newick & Chailey station makes this idea a very distant prospect. Nevertheless the remaining undeveloped section of the line from Lewes to Sheffield Park has been safeguarded from development prejudicial to its use as a bridleway and footpath, leaving open the possibility that the whole line may one day reopen to services.

The stations have been restored to show different periods of the railway's life. Sheffield Park has been restored to a generally Victorian ambience, as it would have appeared during the time of the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway (up to 1922); Horsted Keynes tries to emulate the style of the Southern Railway (1922–1948); and Kingscote echoes the early British Railways period of the 1950s.

Between Horsted Keynes and Kingscote the line passes through the site of West Hoathly station, at the north end of Sharpthorne Tunnel. The West Hoathly station buildings and footbridge were demolished piecemeal between 1964 and 1967, and the site is now in the middle of a modern housing development, so remains closed in deference to the wishes of the local residents. The remains of the platforms and goods dock are still visible at the lineside.The Bluebell Railway has been used as the location for several films and television programmes.

* The Last Ever It Ain't Half Hot Mum episode The Last Roll Call was filmed at Horsted Keynes station
* October 1999: the film The Railway Children based on the book by E Nesbit.
* Sequences for the film Miss Potter starring Ewan McGregor and Renée Zellweger were filmed at Horsted Keynes station.
* Sequences for the adaptation of the Philip Pulman book The Ruby in the Smoke starring Billie Piper as Sally Lockhart and Julie Walters as Mrs Holland were also filmed at Horsted Keynes station
* The train chase scene in the film version of The Wind in the Willows, starring Terry Jones and Eric Idle, was also filmed on the line.
* Scenes for Einstein and Eddington were filmed on the line with David Tennant playing Eddington and Jim Broadbent as a father, with Horsted Keynes disguised as Cambridge.
* The 1977 TV miniseries Love for Lydia had brief scenes filmed at the Horsted Keynes station. It starred Jeremy Irons, Peter Davison, Mel Martin, and Christopher Blake.
* The 1967 film "I'll Never Forget What's His Name" starring Oliver Reed filmed on the line using the Met' Stock and NLR Tank Loco painted all over in white as well as a suitably "dressed" Freshfield Halt.
* At least two Ken Russell Films were made here in the early 1970s, notably Listomania starring Roger Daltrey. Sequence in that particular film showed loco Fenchurch smashing through a Grand Piano at speed.
* Dirty Dozen remake in 1984 used Horsted Keynes station for several scenes which included Q Class Loco 541 and two of the then full time PWay Gang as French Platelayers. Starred Lee Marvin.
* Pop Videos include: Tracey Ullman, The Pet Shop Boys, Sheena Easton, Runrig, Robson & Jerome. Also Elton John's 'Tumbleweed Connection' album cover picture was shot at Sheffield Park Station.
* Night Train To Murder (1984), the very last TV/Feature Film Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise made before Eric's death. Sequences at Sheffield Park station were shot at night with Eric pushing Ernie through the ticket barrier on a Porters trolley and of Loco 75027 in steam. Screened on LWT over the 1984 Christmas TV schedule.
* The 1973 Documentary Metroland by Sir John Betjeman contains an opening scene in Horsted Keynes buffet, and numerous shots inside one of the Metroplitan carriages.

The Bluebell Railway is also featured in The Railway Series written by the Rev. W. Awdry. The book was called Stepney the "Bluebell" Engine, with Stepney as the main character, visiting the fictional Island of Sodor.Yes, we have met STEPNEY!!! (Read the paint over his body for the name).
More picture of Brighton and Tulleys farm coming up!

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Amoz

We were heading down to West Sussex last weekend to meet Alice, Zonny and their new born baby Amoz. Amoz is now 4.5 month old, a happy, cheerful and HUGE baby. Though the journey was rather long (4.5 hour instead of 2 hour as predicted by GPS) but it was truly rewarding.Josiah was a bit jealous we cuddle and play with Amoz a lot, but after we ask him to play together he turns to be "too playful". Probably he expect Amoz to be able to chase him around the coffee table or play train with him.All along I thought his name was Amos, but Alice pointed out they are 2 different thing with 2 different origin and different pronunciation.
Amos
Meaning:Encumbered; burdened
Pronunciation:(AY mos); (AH mohs)
Amos was minor prophet who condemned idol worship and pagan ritual and spurned spiritual reform in Isreal. An evil priest, Amaziah, accused him of treason to Jeraboam II due to his unwelcome message. Amos was a contemporary of Isaiah, Micah and Hosea.
Amoz (the correct one!)
Meaning:Strength
Pronunciation:(AY mahz); (AH moz)
Came from prophet Isaiah's father's name. Suddenly I am reminded how though it is to take picture of babies. They keep moving, kicking, giggling.... out of 20 picture, these are few that come out rather decent *sigh*.

Eat

My son has recently acquire an ability to eat using a fork. I mean a "real fork", not a super-blunt-plastic-baby-fork. And he loves it, look at this.Josiah in Action, trying to get this big potatos on his mouth. Not too bad for a 19 month-er. He did it quite accurately, none of these potatoes dropped on the floor. Alice did told me, "don't you folk afraid that he'll get himself being stabbed by that real fork?". Yusdi replied that we are not afraid that he'll get himself punctured, I think he is careful enough. However, we have to apply some self defense skill on the table nowadays.He nearly stabbed me with that fork (I mean the camera).

Friday, 22 August 2008

Doing the Karen Cheng

Just did some random thing this week. Here is my picture doing the karen cheng pose (eventually I need this to join her group in facebook!)
And I'll be away this weekend! YEAY! (The last bank holiday monday this year *sigh*)

Penyesalan (Regret)

A Regret for 1 day
Rice end up became porridge
(A regret for one day, probably only 1 dinner, as tomorrow one still can eat rice again).

A Regret for 1 month
Get the wrong haircut
(A regret for 1 month, next month can try another hair cut)


A regret for a year
Left behind in class
(It took 1 year, quite a long time to regret. A result of laziness cause one to regret the whole year)

A regret of a life time
Picking the wrong spouse (As long as you live, you are going to stay together with a person whom you dislike)

A Regret for eternity
Choose the wrong "savior".
(Yes, feel sorry forever, as forever we'll condemn in hell, in the lake of fire and cry of regrets).

There is still time for you to choose "a Saviour", choose now, and you won't regret it forever.....
(Eternal life in heaven, you can get it for FREE. All you need to do is to repent from your sin and ask Jesus to be your personal saviour. With his blood he had cleanse our sin, and redeemed us through his death on the cross. He did this all for He love us so much, so none will perish but gain eternal life)

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me (John 4:16)
It's always too late to regret....
(sent by Yusdi's friend, thanks for sharing!)

Thursday, 21 August 2008

The tag of the day!

I am sorry it took me so long just to add one more link on my friend list. Presenting, princess Naomi, dearest daughter of Ms C.W. Visit her blog for more cute picture!
It's been a strange journey. I met C.W, Naomi's mom through a friend long ago before Naomi was even thought of. Me and C.W had never met physically. However, our friendship stays alive through MSN, and even when she is currently in singapore now. God bless you both, and I am so glad that your little baby has grown into a cute looking princess!
P.S:Promise to meet Josiah one day ok Naomi?

Which one to choose?

I've been pondering about Josiah's schooling lately. Probably some of you screaming "He is just about to turn 2 years old this Dec, are you mad??". Rest assure, I can hear you. However, if you know how public or government school placement works, you'll share the same dilemma with me.

In order for your child to be admitted into a good public school, you need to be in their waiting list. To be qualified in their waiting list, you must stay in the "catchment area" or stay no where close to any other public school. To my horror, some of this waiting list require you to put your name there a year or two in advance. And this is no joke! I talking about free school with good standard here (note : 80% public school in UK, as much as "sekolah negri" in indonesia, were no were near the standard of independent school, so I have to be picky), so you'll see it's very competitive even just to put your name on the list.
Unfortunately for us, there is NO good public school around our area. When I say "good" I demand it must be at least the top 10 in UK. Why can't I relax my standard a little bit?
If you ever came to public school which is "usual" or "not good" you'll be shock. Start from little girl acting britney spears sensual dance, school bully, and playing truant. The children have absolutely no respect to adult, and that's including their teachers. And don't start the topic about manner (what manner?!?!?) I guess they have no time for it.
There is a very good public school in Kettering, but that would give me a question of "where would I work??" say I move the the catchment area for the sake of being in the waiting list. For the past 3 years I've been living in UK, there is no job in radius 40 miles from Kettering. Absolutely none. Zero. Nil.

So, then my option came to Independent school (or fee paying school) or home schooling. Actually, the only good thing for me about home schooling is the ability to teach Josiah about our faith, which obviously not many school in Britain has the capability of.

The money issue
After I see how much it cost to send my son to independent school, I drop the idea of home-schooling. Probably it would make sense if I have 2 kids or more, but for only one? I am going to be one super expensive teacher!

Will I be a good teacher?
Another thing that put me off is my own credibility to teach. I probably had no problem with Math, Chemistry, Biology or Algebra. Not for a 4 year old probably. But how about English? Writting Skill? How can I teach my son a good english when I didn't even know English as a language in depth? Would someone send their children to certain school given the knowledge that the teacher is not even qualified to teach the subject? What about subject that I hate? I can't imagine I have to teach my son History when I hate history to death. To me history as a subject is merely a non-sense (well at least in my country it is). I don't see the point learning it, not even until now. Then will my son end up being very weak on the subject?
Will he ever been better than me in science, geography, or other subject? I am not convince that I can be a good teacher to my son.

What is the pathway ahead?
Teaching a primary schooler math, english, history etc might not be as intimidating. But imagine when he is 15 years old! I remember that my mom couldn't catch up with my chemistry when I reach high school stage (yes, chemistry is the knowledge of the"exception"). She could not memorise more things as I do with my biology. Being a good teacher is NOT about reading the textbook ahead of the pupils, but about demonstrating deeper understanding. And being a pupil myself I've experienced a bad teacher who can't teach or implant passion and understanding of the subject. My statistics lecturer in university was a good figure for it, which cause a big disaster now because I grow to hate the subject!!! So, doubt came to me : How if my son become less able because me, as his teacher, is not able to give all the answer he is after? And will a good school like Oxford and Cambridge will ever admit my son if he is home schooled BY ME? Will he end up struggling finding a job?

What my families may have in mind?
Both me and my husband is not brought up in the culture where home-school is a common thing, make it even more difficult. Education (going to school) is a previledge in thrid world country, because not everyone can afford a good education. I believe my parents and my in laws giving their financial priority when it comes to our education, and so that what they expect me and my husband to do with our kids. And, who can say what happen if tomorrow I have to return to Indoensia? what would happen with my son since educational sector in Indonesia didn't acknowledge home school?
While my biggest fear is to see my son heading to hell, on the other hand I always wish he had a better life than me. Then my second question,

is going to school and not doing homeschooling is evil after all?
The answer is none (well at least bible never anything about it) so I start to ponder about the matter more deeply.
Me and my sister always went to Christian school most of the time, not because my parents are Christian back then, but rather because good school are normally either Christian or Catholics school. Both me and my sister first encounter of Christianity were through friends in school. And later on my mom came to church regularly after both of us get saved. Our missionary friend Joe and Abbie came from government school in states, but none of them (nor their siblings) questioning their Christian faith. 99% of national pastor in indonesia sending their children to christian/catholic/secular school. And how did I know about Baptist church? again, through a friend in school! The nicholson told me that their parents testimony were the one that affect them the most when it comes to Christianity, not the school. May God help us too.

Now, by concluding this I didn't say home-schooling is bad or less educational. I've seen some well rounded men who graduated from the system. And I can see how it can fit to many christian missionary families really well. I just think it might not be for us. So my last option, Independent School. Pros, some of these school are Christian school, some of them even ask regular attendance the pupils and their parents to sunday service (obviously to enforce lazy parents who claiming to be christian but never go to church except for wedding, christmas or funeral). Another pros is you can choose whatever school you want as long as you prepare to pay. Cons, very obvious, it's not free. And unfortunately not many Independent school has a strong Christian emphasis. Meanwhile I am shortlisting a few school in Brackley, Bedford and Northampton. Currently the list are :
Winchester House School (probably we need to move??? let's hope Yusdi work in somewhere near!).
Overstone Park School (ideal location, but I am not convince this school is as good).
Slapston Prep School (ideal location, but I am not sure how "Christian" they are).
Thorton College (my fear is this school is actually a Catholic school).
We hope God may grant us wisdom in choosing a school that is best for Josiah and not too far out of the way.

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Workers 'glum' as downturn bites

The credit crunch has led to a jump in the number of office workers who describe themselves as unhappy, a survey suggests. The survey by recruitment consultants Badenoch & Clark indicates that 26% of office workers are unhappy at work.
This is the highest level since Badenoch & Clark began compiling their work happiness index in April 2007 and is up from 21% in April 2008.
The rise was put down to stretched resources and bigger workloads.
The survey of 1,086 office workers suggested that one in 10 is spending the equivalent to an extra day each week at their desks compared to the start of 2008. More hours
The study said that more than a third of employers were not replacing staff on maternity leave or those who have moved on.
HR and banking staff reported the highest increases in workload, it added.
"We have been running this index for a while now and levels of happiness amongst British office workers have remained quite static, so it's eye-opening to see such a big jump in unhappy workers over the last three months," said Neil Wilson, managing director of Badenoch & Clark.
"People are being asked to put in more hours in the office and that is clearly starting to take its toll."
He urged employers not to ignore the happiness of their workers and said those that did risked losing staff when the good times returned.

source :BBC News
P.S: By posting this entry I am not implying
that I am unhappy with my employer.