Friday, 30 July 2010

Help me choosing a kitchen

UPDATED WITH ADDITIONAL KITCHEN #8

I need a perfect kitchen for my new home.
Wondering whether anyone can help me to pick which one?

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Any thoughts?

Thursday, 29 July 2010

This is how I feel today...

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Yes, first time receiving my husband full salary (finally he is on full time employment). This is exactly how I feel...

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And on the top of that, the Lord has work in the most unlikely way to have our renovation cost covered.

My husband only paid £80 on his tax! (in all impossibility of 20-40% UK income tax band, this is called MIRACLE). He got much than me! Praise the Lord :-)

I am a believer of paying tithe (that is 10% on what you receive) and I strongly believe that even when we spend hundreds of ££ every month of paying tithe God will have our ends meet. And that's true, my car(s) never need major repair, my tooth never ache, my boiler never fail (it's already 5 years and still counting), never got my super bulky camera stolen, never lost my purse and God seems to put any bargain around in front of my eyes without me looking very hard for them.
God had saved me a lot of money and heartaches!

When my son need toys and clothes, God will move someone to gave us. When I need a piano, God send someone to lend it to us. When we need a new car, God send me government £2500 scrapagge scheme. When I need a new camera lenses, God made our photographers friend sell it cheap to us. When I lost my job (I was the family breadwinner until few months ago when my husband graduated), God made me earn 5 month salary and landed on the next job with better pay in 2 weeks time (on the top of that He still even funded our 2 week break in States!). And shower of blessing has NEVER stop!

We've asked Him to provide £10 to £10,000 and He had never failed us. Providing £10 sounded like easier than £10,000 don't you think? But trust me, both are equally possible for God, we've experience that.

God hears our prayer, because we've obeyed Him.
We have no financial problem because we render what God commanded us. He is faithful on His promise to take care of our needs. And I just experince it... one more time!

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God is ALWAYS faithful to His promise, and how about you? Have you done your part?
If you have not, do not blame God for problem in your life, first because He never promise this life will be problem free and second because He already give you a way out - trust and obey. It is not your worldly investment and bank acct that will save you out of your debt. But your tithe and your obedience will!

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Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Reunited

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Josiah had a short and very sweet reunion with his long lost cousin Gwen. He was 8 months and Gwen was 3.5 yo back then. Josiah and Gwen was first met 3 years ago, merely less than 2 day. And few weeks ago they were "briefly" reunited. This surprise me to see how quick they recall each other faces and as if catching up all the lost time all this while.

Both of them bond so well.
Too well that we feel so guilty to ask him to say goodbye... probably for the next 3 years.

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Friday, 23 July 2010

Stop 12 : Brussels - once is enough

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You might seen the first few pictures in this entry and wondering why and what did I moan about. Everything seems to be perfect and beautiful.

Beauty can be deceiving, and this is one of them.

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Frankly speaking, you won't regret never visiting Brussels in your life.
You'll soon see why.
Not only over rated Manneken Pis( which is seen as a symbol of French and Dutch cohabitation in Brussels) which just look like a tiny statue in the middle of busy market - I don't even bother to upload the picture here.

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This is probably THE ONLY nice spot in Brussels, the rest is nothing different with Jakarta. In fact I would rate jakarta to be better since the food are no doubt cheaper and... hardly any "human poo" on the road. Yes, I am serious.
There are a lot of homeless in Brussels just like in any other metropolitan city. However going to toilet in Belgium you'll have to pay, so you see that's where the problem lies.

Not only that, even to get a sachet of ketchup you have to pay 60 cents! Don't you think if you bought a meal in macD you have a "rights" to get a ketchup free?

This is just auspicious.
No doubt loads more uglier in the daytime.

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But at least me and my family are visible.

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And just like any other Belgium city, you can't miss the chocolate and waffles!

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Hey, I feel better after moaning.
Thanks!

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Tuesday, 20 July 2010

It's FARM time!

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Where I came from this is exactly the image I would imagine when someone told me "we are off for farm visit!". And honestly, I don't think I can associate farm with something fun and clean to occupy a toddler the whole day. I mean, working farm is normally smelly and mucky. Definitely not one of the most wanted place for your toddler to be.

However, I've learned that farm in non-3rd world country not only serving a purpose of breeding ducks, cows and selling chicken eggs. It's actually a bit like mini zoo and theme park at the same time.

Last weekend, we went to Rookery Farm in Towcester and the day was brilliantly warm and sunny. There is a big picnic and play area with slides and swings, few real tractor (my son's favorite) surrounded by animal playpen which most of them you can pet.

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It also have indoor petting area for rabbit, guinea pigs, goat and hamster. They also kept some chickens, birds and chipmunk for display.

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Now, if your kid have enough for "animal" oriented activity, it's time to try something different. Like... trying a pedal tractor.

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My son skillfully steering the tractor... which obviously in reality it won't be this easy.

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Next he is heading to outdoor bouncy castle.

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And before we went back home. While packing our stuff we saw this.

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That pig looking creature called kunekune pig originated from New Zealand, latest cutest thing we know. Thankfully it was usually kept as pets and not subject to be brougt to dinner table!

Friday, 16 July 2010

Aunt

When I was a little girl, I remembered how I simply love when my aunty and uncle visited me.
They'll pour me with loads of gifts and attention, play some games with me and just to make the day even more special, sometimes I get to play with girls/boys on my age, namely cousins.

20 years later, now I am the playing the role of "aunty" in someone elses life.

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So I did give him loads of cuddles, sat next to him in the car, and introduce another small people who can play ball with him.

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And as a return he gave me this cheeky smiles.

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I would have guess baby nic think exactly the same way as I was 20 years ago.

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After dealing with mortgage and builder, I had never thought being old can be fun.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Goodbye to my house... my home...

It's been rather interesting week. First of all, thank you...thank you for all of you who had been praying for my house purchases. If the Lord willing, in a week time I'll be once again, a home owner!

When we decide we are going to make a drastic choice to move house for the sake of my boy's future and education, we both know it will be quite a faith testing journey. But we really find peace with the Lord.
Needless to say for the past 3-4 months we've seen dozens of houses, spend almost every weekends looking at prospective home. Why would we end up with a ugly repossed house at the end? it was a long story.

4 years ago, when we first bought our flat (the one we currently living on), it was by God divine intervention that we end up living here. On my human planning mind, I choose a flat nearby my workplace but somehow my mortgage was rejected. Looking back at where I am now, I would end up with smaller house and negative equity should God allow that mortgage went through. And for no obvious reason, I did not know that my current flat has a walkable distance to the city, bus and train station, have a small grocery store, landromat, and post office within 1 minute walking radius. I just say praise the Lord that He knew all these better than me.

Now, we are back on the same situation again... and of course had known the recipe for best deals - prayer, we did it again. And so, we've seen loads of house, we intend to buy a landed property with backyard so my son can enjoy his own slide and swings. We've seen many nice property, and naturally... try to put offer on what we deem as the best. But, at first instances, the property was snatched few days before we placed our offer. And then came another one, but before the day of viewing we receive a call that it was taken. Then again we waited and see another one we liked, but it was taken literraly 1 hour before we place the offer! Annoyed?? At that instance probably yes, but we quickly collect our thoughts and remind ourselves this is not yet the house God wanted us to buy.

The same story repeats a few times. Until we almost give up, then this came. A repossed house, practically one of the ugliest I've seen. But my husband said this potentially can be a great house, which much later on I can see why.

Unfortunately, for repossesed house, we had to gone through bidding/auction motion before we are entitled to be its sole owner. And as I do my research, repossesed house are normally cheaper than it's market value (of similar ugly looking house). It is cheap just because the vendor just want to get back their money quickly - thus the bidding. However, I told my husband, if the Lord has this house for us, He would not let anyone bid for it.

And the journey of faith begun.

First despite the cheap price, we decide to bargain few more thousands. They initally reject it, but later on accepted it after 1 week of many viewing but no one seem to be ready to put a concrete offer.

Then while sort out the home buyer survey, mortgage, solicitor etc, the rule of the game is, you can lost all of your money on that if someone else came with better offer before the exchange of contract. How unpleasant the waiting it was?

But after 3 weeks, we had our mortgage approved, now we just need to sort out the builders while waiting for the keys next week. Again too much of coincidence that our prospetive neighbour indeed a builder, plus... we had a church friend who is a handy man who need some work!

Last week, our attention was divided to our current house which we try to rent out. After speaking to few agents, we decide to put it up on higher market price and set up early september as move in date. The agent does said it going to take a month or two with that kind of price, so we are prepared.

Again, the Lord showed His hand is able... more able than estate agents. Merely 7 days on the rental market, the first viewing has turn up into a legal contract, and the tenant even offer higher rent for the sake of having few of our furniture. The agent said we were so lucky, we said we serve a might God!

Meanwhile, I had to say goodbye to my old home... and excitedly waiting for what the Lord has instore for me to transform the old house into my new home!

Monday, 12 July 2010

Look who is turning ONE!

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Apparently taking pictures of kids is HARDER that it looks. Especially when you have dozen of children running and crawling around. Low room light definetely does not help... *sigh*.

Summer fun! (in my prespective)

Last week Ms. Julie were out with her family for holiday, so mommy said I will have to stay at home with daddy for the whole week.

Luckily enough, Ms Rachael - Ms Julie's friend, were kind enough to have me in her house for a few days that week, just so that I won't be so bored at home (afterall playing with big people is not as fun as playing with small people - that is people with same height as me!)

So mommy drop me off at Ms Rachael's house where I met Tris, my friend. Now, the best thing is, not only Tris is small people like me, but he actually like loads of thing beginning with 'T' just like me. So we both loves 'Train', 'Trucks' and 'Thomas the Tank'.
I obviously can't wait to play with him. So Ms. Rachael helped us build a big round of track covering the entire living room. We had Harold - the helicopter,loads of engines, trucks and coaches... even some traction engine.
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On the next day, it got even better. It was actually Tris's birthday so the house was full of balloons and birthday decoration. And guess what? We are going to Thomas land - Dryton Manor to celebrate! Thanks to Ms Rachael and Uncle Andy that I was invited. What can be better than to see Thomas with another Thomas fan like Tris?

It was a bright and sunny day when we visit Thomas Land.
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We met fat controller (although he wasn't as fat as I think he will, mommy said he's probably on a diet to get healthier).
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We took loads of pictures with the engines.
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We went to Knapford station and waiting to get on the train.
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My friend Tris was very brave to try on many rides, while I am very contented with Thomas ride and was on it 4 times!
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It was so fun that I even still talking about it when I tucked in on my bed that night.
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On the next day, I decided I have enough of train and wanted to play with something else. So Ms. Rachael build up a marble race for us to play. I had never seen something so cool like this before! So I decide to play with it the whole day long. Oh, didn't I tell you as well that Tris has a big back yard with slides, swings and loads of other fun thing. We had a great time playing under the sun!

Although it was only a real stay with Ms Rachael and Tris, I really enjoy it! Probably I should hope Ms. Julie went on holiday for 2 weeks next time!

**All pictures courtesy of Ms. Rachael!