Wednesday, 23 December 2009
Pray for my family for a safe journey as our flight taken off today on it's way to Indonesia. We'll update you with travel pictures as soon as we get back here.
Tuesday, 22 December 2009
Well at least my little boy enjoys his christmas no matter what, thanks to church friends and his childminder, Julie, who make loads of effort and activity for him to do.
Narrated by Josiah.
So mommey said that Christmas is coming. People are suddenly busy shopping and decorating. Miss Julie put up a lot of nice decoration in her house, not to mention her lovely christmas tree. However, there is no christmas decoration at home.
Mommey said she can't be bothered to look for one. Good thing that clever Ms. Julie decided we are going to make one!
Not only that, we also made some cute snowman. Mine is the fattest. Mommey said it looks just like me except it is white.
On cold wintery day, we still go outside and have a walk. Ms Julie said we have to keep walking on the kerb, far away from traffic, and hold each other hand just like this...
And if we've been a good boy, after a busy day... we get our reward.
But it's different story when it start to gets really cold outside. I watch a white cotton like stuff swaying in the wind outside. Ms Julie said it's snowing, and later on we can play sledding outside.
It was sooo... much fun. I don't know why Mommey hate snow so much. She said it causes traffic jam and accident. Adult are surely strange.
I also see loads of light outside people's home. Mommey said Christmas is a birthday of a King called Jesus. However, she said it just so happen that my birthday is somewhat on the same month.
After tiring day of making craft, sledding and eating ice cream. It would be nice to have a snuggle while watching DVD on the couch.
This is a life of a toddler, and I am loving it! Happy Christmas everyone, Happy birthday Jesus!
Friday, 18 December 2009
By no means, this is will be THE ONLY job will left us option to stay put where we are at the moment. Yes, he had few other company interview him next year but all of those will require us relocating, not only city, probably country!
So here we are busy preparing for christmas in church, getting ready to go back home (yes we heading home on the 23rd!), and in between try to juggle strenous interview preparation....and my little boy's birthday is practically left as the very last priority.
We sort of bought him a thomas cake from sainsbury (local grocery shop), we had no time to celebrate it ourselves, so chuck the cake to the preschool and let him have 10 minute celebration. And worse still, on the day he had his birthday was the company christmas dinner, and I missed it last year due to flu bug. So there he was waiting on the childminder house till 10pm on his birthday. And the worst is... we has not got time to find him a birthday present!!!
Lucky for me, he does not seem to understand that it is his special day. At first he thought it was christmas party because there was a christmas tree, then he tought it is thomas birthday because thomas stuff were practically every gift he opened.
I feel really sorry for my little man, he was practically forgotten by almost everyone. I promise, next year I'll do better!
Wednesday, 16 December 2009
Noah had been fighting cancer since he was 3 years old. He was diagnosed with neuroblastoma in February 2007, went into remission six months later but relapsed in September 2008.
Fortunately, knowing his time was short, Noah wanted to celebrate Christmas early. The family has appeal to everyone across the globe to send christmas card and gift to their address. One of the online newspaper broadcasting his action opening christmas cards and present.The 5-year-old said an angel figurine ornament was his favorite because it reminded him of where he'll soon be.
"In heaven, and I'm going to be an angel," Noah said.
Today, little Noah will celebrate his first ever Christmas in heaven, this time with the birthday boy, sitting next to him.
My First Christmas in Heaven (DebinVA)
I see the countless
around the world below
With tiny lights, like Heaven's stars,
reflecting on the snow
The sight is so spectacular,
please wipe away the tear
For I am spending Christmas with
Jesus Christ this year.
I hear the many Christmas songs
that people hold so dear
But the sounds of music can't compare
with the Christmas choir up here.
I have no words to tell you,
the joy their voices bring,
For it is beyond description,
to hear the angels sing.
I know how much you miss me,
I see the pain inside your heart.
But I am not so far away,
We really aren't apart.
So be happy for me, dear ones,
You know I hold you dear.
And be glad I'm spending Christmas
with Jesus Christ this year.
I sent you each a special gift,
from my heavenly home above.
I sent you each a memory
of my undying love.
After all, love is a gift more precious
than pure gold.
was always most important
the stories Jesus told.
Please love and keep each other,
my Father said to do.
I can't count the blessing or love
has for each of you.
So have a Merry Christmas and
Wipe away that tear
Remember, I am spending Christmas with
Jesus Christ this year
I can imagine that Christ child has already known His mission on the cross of Calvary the day he was sent to be born in a manger. Just like Noah's parent, it must be hard for Jesus's mother to watch his son to die on Calvary. Let us remember that, forgiveness through Jesus is the best gift God gave to human kind.
Happy Christmas everyone.
Monday, 14 December 2009
Friday, 11 December 2009
An elderly man in Mumbai calls his son in New York and says, 'I hate to ruin your day son, but I have to tell you that your mother and I are getting a divorce; 35 years of marriage... and that much misery is enough!'
'Dad, what are you talking about?' the son screams.
'We can't stand the sight of each other any longer,' the old man says.'We're sick of each other, and I'm sick of talking about this, so you call your sister in Hong Kong and tell her!'
Frantic, the son calls his sister, who explodes on the phone.
'Like heck they're getting divorced,' she shouts, 'I'll take care of this.'
She calls Mumbai immediately, and screams at the old man, 'You are not getting divorced. Don't do a single thing until I get there. I'm calling my brother back, and we'll both be there tomorrow. Until then, don't do a thing, DO YOU HEAR??' and she hangs up.
The old man hangs up his phone and turns to his wife. 'Okay', he says, 'It's all set. They're both coming for our anniversary and paying their own airfare!!'
Lesson learn : go home often, don't make your parents went through extra mile and pull up tricks on you.
Sunday, 6 December 2009
Year by year we are always surprised again by how much labour and cost poured into this "hobby". The cost of this tiny locomotive is not cheap, it can easily cost somewhere above £100 each, not to mention you have to be gentle to it, clean it, dust it, oil it.
Some people must be spending awfully loads of time in landscaping this artwork. They are actually very tiny, the biggest tree on this landscaping only as tall as needle.
While there are others that somewhat rather big... like this one below.
But the best of all (according to my son) is to see this what they called "test-track". It is basically a big circular tracks with various sizes locomotive, trucks and coaches running on it. It is meant for testing (at the name said) before the loco is put as a part of certain landscape.
Yes, they all moves! In fact, they more very quick!
Our last stop before the day ends is this Thomas and his Friends model railway. The owner was surprisingly NOT a little boy, but more towards a great granddad. He is getting enthusiastic in explaining to a group of toddler who stand in amazement on his model railway (uh huh, my son is one of them).
"Sir, so how much time and money you spend on this?" I asked.
"I can estimate xxxx pound and xx hour."
Somehow, I regret to know his answer.
Friday, 4 December 2009
Nevertheless, God has never failed to show us how GOOD He is. He gave us strength to conquer those challenge everyday and gave us courage to trust Him and His promise.
As I read my bible this morning, I read 2 Cor 12 : 9
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
I can't help but to thank the Lord for beautiful things He bestown in my life.
Thanks to God for my Redeemer,
Thanks for all Thou dost provide!
Thanks for times now but a memory,
Thanks for Jesus by my side!
Thanks for pleasant, balmy springtime,
Thanks for dark and stormy fall!
Thanks for tears by now forgotten,
Thanks for peace within my soul!
Thanks for prayers that Thou hast answered,
Thanks for what Thou dost deny!
Thanks for storms that I have weathered,
Thanks for all Thou dost supply!
Thanks for pain, and thanks for pleasure,
Thanks for comfort in despair!
Thanks for grace that none can measure,
Thanks for love beyond compare!
Thanks for roses by the wayside,
Thanks for thorns their stems contain!
Thanks for home and thanks for fireside,
Thanks for hope, that sweet refrain!
Thanks for joy and thanks for sorrow,
Thanks for heav’nly peace with Thee!
Thanks for hope in the tomorrow,
Thanks through all eternity!
Monday, 30 November 2009
Moving on one gear up, do you - as a parent - often observe the "hidden talents" our toddlers have? Few months ago, I had a very interesting conversation among mums :
Me : Looked like Aaron did well learning how to walk, he is just 10 month old, can't believe it he is running so quick. I recalled my son hardly even stand when he was 9 month old. Did you feed him something different?
Aaron's mum : Not exactly, we had never knew how his motor skilled are developed so quickly. He was crawling when he was 6 month old. I reckon he probably can become a good sportsman.
Lucy's mum : my girl hasn't walked yet until she is 1 yo. But she quite fond of singing. She can recite "twinkle twinkle little star" in complete lyrics plus with correct tune.
Me : that's impressive, she will make a great singer when she grew up. My son didn't say much words yet till date. But he can count to ten.
Other mums : that's advance, probably he'll be mathematician!
Last week, me and my husband decided we'll try to give Josiah a try on finger painting. I had always been delaying THIS because I can imagine the cleaning up job to do after 10 minutes of messy fun. We purposely pick up SOYA FINGER PAINT, that easy to clean and does not stick to surface as much. We prepare the table, even bought one plastic coat to avoid him painting himself allover.
But interestingly enough, my son was toooo "clean" to touch the goey and mucky paint with his own finger. So he decide to always use brush. (And yes, he refuse to wear the plastic coat we bought him, another waste of money).
So what's your verdict? a modern art painter for his future?
Thursday, 26 November 2009
I was about 4 -5 year old.
So, as a toddler (who apparently have a very distorted view about this world) my answer will be something like "teacher" "police woman" "president", or "astronout" kind of thing. I remembered as some point in my life I wanted to become a vet, because I love animals and I think I did well helping my mom in the clinics (basically I was "hired" to pound the tablets, writting dosage, and giving change... and yes, none of it have anything to do with being a real doctor).
My mom told me to become a doctor you need to be in school for a looong time, approximately 5-6 years longer than other occupation, so I drop my idea of becoming a doctor and down grade it to a nurse!
Then not long after that one of my primary 3 teacher was sooo inspiring that it changes my mind to be a teacher instead. Then I took organ and guitar lesson, and founded my hidden talents, soon enough I am persuaded to be a musician.
But that does not last too long, at the age of 13, there is an influx of japanese comic book (so called "manga") in Indonesian book store. Let me tell you that me and my sister are soooo hooked up, we read it everywhere, dinner table, toilet, bed, some of my friend even read it by hiding their hand underneath the school drawer during lesson time. Then me (even my sister) told ourselves that we will be comic writter and this decision is final!
The truth is, we did maintain that thought for quite a while. But with a little bit of common sense, we obviously know that being a comic writter is hard work. Life is full of deadlines, and you need to work whether you have any great story to write or not. Unlike being a doctor, engineer, astronout, physicist, or politician, being a comic writter is more like being a music composer or painter, something has to come with creativity and inspiration. And by the way, even when you have creativity and inspiration ALL THE TIME, at the end of the day, the one who earn most money is the publisher! and not the writer.
Okay, in short, me and my sister sack the idea to become comic writter. Today, I am a computer engineer and my sister is an architect. If I look backwards on those crazy "occupation wannabees" that I ever dreamt, sometime I do wonder what's actually in my mind that time? do I really think seriously that I can earn my living doing that for the rest of my life? Probably not.
Now when I look at my soon I fell like I look at myself 20 years ago. He had the wild dream, a very distorted idea about things around him, limited knowledge of this world and a idealist ambition. And this all combined in his mind.
"So, Josiah...what do you want to be?"
Do you know what my son want to be at this point of his life?
I bet 99% of you can guess what it is.
Beware of the new FAT CONTROLLER!!!
This picture courtesy of his childminder.
Tuesday, 24 November 2009
The weather outside has been very wet and windy, making me not in any appetite to pick up my gear and snap picture outside.
I also notice that Christmas is exactly a month away today! This year has flown like a rocket. I still have not found a good christmas present idea for my parents and in law.
Oh yes, next year, my mother in law will be staying with us for a few months.... isn't that exciting? (I mean in good sense, not in sarcasm haha). We had plan a little trip to scotland to see our cousin and have a bit of family time.
Meanwhile, I saw that trees and branches are completely exposed. Marking the end of Autumn.
Wednesday, 18 November 2009
Tuesday, 17 November 2009
Monday, 16 November 2009
On the other side, sickness bug has been running around the neighbourhood because of a mild winter (people said mild temperature does not kill the germ therefore the outbreak), fortunate enough three of us still in a good shape but busy covering up for others who are poorly.
And I almost forgot about Guy Fawkes day! Well, honestly I knew absolutely nothing about it except for a good excuse to watch fireworks.
But those of you who are a little bit curious, you can read an interesting history behind this celebration here. I did do a bit of tricks with this fireworks picture. The first picture is a combination of 5 individual shoots while the second one is a combintation of 2. If you are familiar with GIMP, there is layer operation called "Lighten Only" and "Overlay", I use these two method to combine the individual pictures into one big picture.
We do have quite a few big project along the way in few weeks time. The christmas carol service is one of them, and not forgetting my little boy will be 3 this december! I've been sourcing out for cake ideas (drop me a link if you have something in mind) preferably castle or transportation theme party.
On closing, I read this "joke" in cyntia's blog and I thought this is pretty neat.
The European Commission has just announced an agreement whereby English will be the official language of the European Union rather than German, which was the
As part of the negotiations, the British Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a 5- year phase-in plan that would become known as 'Euro-English' .
In the first year, 's' will replace the soft 'c'. This will sertainly make the sivil servants jump with joy. The hard 'c' will be dropped in favour of 'k'. This should klear up konfusion and keyboards kan have one less letter.
There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year when the troublesome 'ph' will be replaced with 'f'. This will make words like fotograf 20% shorter.
In the 3rd year, publik akseptanse of the new s pelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible. Governments will enkourage the removal of double letters which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling.
Also, al wil agre that the horibl mes of the silent 'e' in the languag is disgrasful and it should go away.
By the 4th yer peopl wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing 'th' with 'z' and 'w' with 'v'.
During ze fifz yer, ze unesesary 'o' kan be dropd from vords kontaining 'ou' and after ziz fifz yer, ve vil hav a real sensibl riten styl.
Zer vil be no mor trubl or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi tu understand ech oza.. Ze drem of a united urop vil finali kum tru. Und efter ze fifz yer, ve vil al be speking
German like zey vunted in ze forst plas.
Wednesday, 11 November 2009
Monday, 9 November 2009
I recently caught a bug.
I call it a bug because it might become a bad habit, something that I should not do. While I don't exactly into monochrome photography/Black & White (I do in few instances, but generally I don't) but it just hit me "boy, I am bored with ever so saturated colourful pictures". So here it is, Sarah wearing bright red and grey woven dress with her cute hat. And I awfully decide to desaturate it to look much paler.
Worst news is, I desaturated most of my pictures this days, not just one or two! (You'll see the damage on my later post this week)
SIGH....Don't know what's happening to me...
Friday, 6 November 2009
For me lately it wasn't mozart or sentimental piano instrumental.
It was the sound of toilet flush!
Guess what, my son is 100% nappy (american read : diaper) FREE now!!!
Believe me, after so many time washing your carpet, changing sheets, washing soiled trousers, and £10 extra for each week grocery, I bet that flushing sound is the sweetest sound a mom can ever heard!
Tuesday, 3 November 2009
So, here it is!
Hello! As some of my very smart reader probably have guessed, my nick on this blog, J.H whereby 'J' stands for Jessica. I was born in Bandung, a city in west Java. But I was no where close to being a city girl. My parents, both a physician, was on deputation when I was small, so we always move around villages every now and then. When I looked at my childhood pictures, it appeared very odd to see there is a fair skined, small eyes, flat nose little girl standing in the midst of darker skinned, big eyed, native sundanese. It's no wonder I was always called "Japanese girl" amongest my peers since my sounded-too-american name was too difficult for them to say nor remembered.
What I remembered about my childhood days were fairly simple. Although I might look different, my friends always treated me the same. I run around bare footed in the paddy fields, enjoying the mud on the pond, play pretend cooks with leaves and flowers, making handmade utensils from clay, dug up dirt to find ant's house, catching small prawn and fishes with hand, making trumpet out of morning glory and alamanda, collection flower seeds, chasing ducks and chicken on the backyard, keeping cricket and fireflies as pets, burning paper with magnifying glass, learning to climb trees, making necklace out of cassava leaf, hunting for Mimosa pudica (the plant that move when you touch), catching mosquito larve with my mom's pantyhose and a wire, flying kite with my dad.
When the sunset comes, the village normally gets really dark because there were no electricity. But we always have fun playing shadows, watching firelfy lit up the fields, learn how to make necklace out by buring plastic straw with candles.
Life was simple and fun. I never think of internet, computer games or even television.
For many years of my life, at the age of 10 finally my parents decide to settle down in one of the village nearby a oil mining town. Then my mom works for hospital emergency unit (yes, she is a real ER resident!), while my dad still works for another remote clinics. Because my mom didn't drive, the whole house has to go with her when she receive an emergency call. So, barely awake, me and my sister often stuck in the hospital waiting room or in the car. But I know that comfortable bed to sleep on is the least important option when someone's life was at stake.
Let me tell you, life as doctor's daugther is ALWAYS fun! I normally goes to school on a 30 minutes ride on motorbike by one of the nurse. There are occassion whereby he is on duty to drove an ambulance. It was a funny sight to see an ambulance waiting at the school gate to pick me up. And being the naughty me, I often insist the driver to turn on the siren to pass by crowded road. To me this is a memory for life! And then after school, I often sit on the lab to observe someone's faeces or blood, it might sounded disgusting, but believe me, to see what under the microscope made it worthed!
But life soon changes when one of my classmate died at the age of 15 on motorbike accident. I start to consider lots of thing in my life, of what I need the most, thinking about what matters in this world and in eternity, and finally, december 1995, I realise I need to be forgiven, and I need to be saved. Although I had never be a "bad girl", but I admit I have lots of sins that other or even my parents had never seen, and I need to repent and ask God to help me to overcome those.
I was then sit for senior high school in Jakarta for 3 years. Although I had never enjoy a life in the city, I must thank the Lord for beautiful Godly friends I am blessed during this time. I met Steven Liauw, my pastor's son whom sit on the same class as me for the whole 3 years. He was the man that introduce me to the truth of the bible and dare to live according to its standard. I also met AG, a best friend for life and eternity.
I soon get comfortable with my life in Jakarta, but God has a different plan. I was sent to Singapore to study computer engineering. If you are familiar with my blog, I despise a lot my life in Singapore. I had very few friends, I miss my church back home, I miss my family, I was terribly lonely, and I hate the "kiasu" (afraid to lose) lifestyle there. But with the Lord's help I graduated successfully with second upper honours, despite not liking the subject. But there is always a purpose for whatever happening in our life. During those painful 4 years I get to know a man, who later get saved and became my husband. I dare to say that it was the only highlight of my days then. We work for 3 years to complete my bond and serve in local church.
And again, God has another plan. Before we know it, we landed in Oxford, UK as my husband offered to study in a place he never dare to dream about. Around this time of the year, 4 years ago, he was officially matriculated. During these course of time, we met some great soul from whom we learn the wisdom of the Lord.
Life had never been sweeter!
If I looked back through my life, praise God for a great Shepherd who guided me like Jesus.
Monday, 2 November 2009
This dumpling recipe makes Chinese style dumplings (also called a jiaozi). Dumplings are quite varied and are found in many types of cuisines around the world. If you're interested in reading about all of them in more detail, there is the dumpling article on Wikipedia. I found it really quite interesting!
I use the premade dough that already pre-rolled into round pieces so this is a real time saver. You can easily find these in any Chinese grocery store.
Ingredients (4 servings):
ground pork (1 lbs. or 450 g)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon chinese cooking wine
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 green onion
10 pieces of water chestnut
1 finger of ginger, finely chopped.
1/3 cup dried black mushroom or I use spinach as replacement, boiled and diced.
olive oil or vegetable oil
Additional ingredient for dipping sauce (optional):
vinegar (preferably red vinegar) and chilli sauce
Preparation stage 30 min before starting the dumpling recipe: (1) soak the dried black mushrooms in a small bowl of water; (2) leave the dumpling package at room temperature; (3) leave the frozen ground pork in a large bowl at room temperature to unthaw.
Part 1 (30 min)
Soak the dried black mushrooms in some water. Dice the green onion, water chestnut, spinach, ginger and dry mushrooms. Make sure you have the green onion, water chestnut, spinach, ginger, dry mushroom, salt, sugar, pepper, soy sauce, and ground pork (1)
and mix everything together in a large bowl. This is the filling for the dumplings. Place a small portion (about 1 teaspoon) of the filling into the middle of each wrapper (2).
Wet your finger in a bowl of water (3)
and spread the water along the edges of the dumpling (4).
Fold the wrapper over the filling into a half moon shape and pinch the edges to seal (5).
Continue with the remainder of the dumplings (6).
Part 2 (30 min)
Fill a large pot with 3/4 full of water and bring it to a boil.
Put the dumplings into the pot (1)
and let it cook for about 5 min until they start to float (2).
Transfer the dumplings in a bowl of cold water to stop the cooking process (3). Drain the water in a strainer (4).
Pour a small amount of oil in the frying pan (5) and turn on medium heat. F
ry them until slightly golden on both sides (6).
Optional step for dumpling recipe: To prepare the dipping sauce (per 1 serving), mix 1 teaspoon of vinegar, 2 teaspoons soy sauce, 1/2 teaspoon sugar in a bowl and to add more bite, you can serve chilli dippings separately!
Serve and enjoy.
Friday, 30 October 2009
She was the youngest among 12 siblings in her family. I am not sure how small is her house back then, but it does sounded that everyone cramped into one small rented house.
If I didn't feel like finishing my dinner, she will tell me that her mom used to made watery porrige or adding corn to the rice to feed the households.
If I was bored with my toy, she will tell me that she almost have no toys, and those that she had has passed by generation her eldest sister so you could imagine how it looks.
If I was lazy to study for my exam, she will tell me that most of her elder siblings has no chance for education, they had to work to help adding income to the family with the hope that their youngest siblings will make it through university (which did come to reality as my mom and one of his brother graduated as physician).
I can see that whatever she said had shape my mindset towards certain things. Even though I grew up quite nomad (yes my parents does not have their own house to stay until I was close to 10 years old) in some rural area in Java, I count myself much more fortunate than my mom. I always have enough food, new clothing, enough toys, and never worried that my parents could not pay my school fee.
I was in a terrible shock when I arrive in UK. People here just merely complain about ANYTHING, weather, tax, education, bla bla bla... I did question "why?", and the answer is pretty obvious, the country and their government had spoilt them way too much. Government build council houses, homeless sheds, paying disablity benefits (apparently nut alergies is disability here), paying child benefits, giving free medical, free education, even to the point of paying portion of your mortgage when you lost your job!
Where I came from, hospital, doctor and medicine has never been free, even when we pay tax! I remembered this conversation while helping my mom attending a diabetic patient (yes, this is a 10 year old get her pocket money, helping in the clinic)
My mom : Mrs XXX, this is your medication, take it once a day. Remember try to strict your diet according to what I've said earlier. And we'll see you in 3 months time. *putting the bill on the table*
Mrs XXX : *frantically open her wallet and makes no remarks, but she
didn't put the money on the table*
My mom : Well, just pay me with what you have. I understand many of my diabetic patient had to come often for medication, and it can be very expensive.
Mrs XXX : *pause for a moment*
Thank you doctor, I don't know how to repay your kindness. Surely you can't
do this everytime to everybody.
My mom : *Smile and said...*
Just remember to takecare of your health, and remember my instruction, that'll do.
Almost everymonth, my house is flooded with gifts from dozen of patient who suffer the same fate as Mrs XXX. It can be fruits, food even to life stock as chicken and ducks. People in Indonesia may have to live in a hut, don't know how to write or read, yet know what gratitude means.
Here in UK, the teenager has every chance to go to university (education is free until 18 years old), the government give them loan, tuition grant, which can be paid when you find job in the future, but yet most of them never has the courage and perseverance to bear 4 years in university.
(And those who make it to top university decided to do this....)
(Above is the picture I took while travelling in Cambridge)
The result? most of company in UK need to hire foreigner for executive job because not many Brits qualified for it. And guess what, the brits does not like their country being invaded by polish, indian, pakistani and call for a strike! What an irony, a country this rich has people who are lazy and greedy.
If only they could swap a month on the shoes of Mrs XXX, they will came back as a different person.