Monday, 30 November 2009

Parents mind

I receive loads of "interesting" comment on my previous blog about "what do want to be". You can read them here.

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

So, what do you want to be?

When I was small, my teacher often ask me "So, what do you want to be when you grown up?".
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

It's been long

I know it's been long since I update this blog. Three of us are under the weather lately and having a lot of sleepless night. I do hope everyone else stay healthy.
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

Unleash your child's creativity

Tux Paint ( is a free, award-winning drawing program for children ages 3 to 12 (for example, preschool and K-6). It combines an easy-to-use interface, fun sound effects, and an encouraging cartoon mascot who guides parents children as they use the program.


Kids are presented with a blank canvas and a variety of drawing tools to help them be creative. One of our favourites is the stamp tool where the child can take an existing picture (for example train, animal, tree) and stamp them on the canvas. Similar to what you would do with a rubber stamp (not the postage stamp...). You can download various stamp bundles online. As a train enthusiast, Josiah's favourite is of course the train set.


The freehand drawing tools are also good fun, definitely much easier to use than those in GIMP or Photoshop.


I recommend that you give it a try, let your (inner or actual) child unleash his/her creativity. And did I tell you that it is free?

Monday, 16 November 2009

Too much happening

I am sorry not too much of blogging nowadyas. There is absolutely TOO MUCH things to do around the house. My husband received rejections on job application last week but he did have a call for an interview (will be a 4 round), I would like to thank everyone who had been praying for him for the right job.

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
other possibility.

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

Sweet sound on my ear

What do you think the sweetest sound to your ear?
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

Little bit about me

I just realise, I had never write anything about myself in organise way on this blog. My blog reader, especially those who does not know me in person, need to guess, or imply from my blogpost on what do I do and where I came from.
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

Perfect remedies on cold weather : Warm Dumpling

In a cold windy and wet autumn day, I crave for something that warm, crunch and spicy. So I dug up from recipe in internet and find this!
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.
dumpling wrappers
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.