Wednesday, October 31, 2007

A Memorable Gift

One of the most memorable gift I have ever received is a diary. One of my oldest closest friends, who's known me since we were 13 years old, gave it to me right after my honeymoon. She wrote the diary in 1999. It wasn't a thick book, but the entries reminded me of the year, my most rebellious year (read: the year I made so many mistakes in life, but it was also the year when I learnt A LOT).

She wrote the diary 'coz she had known that one of my dreams was to travel and to live abroad, and I guess that year she thought that I was getting closer and closer to my dream. It's just SO touching that she believed in my dream even then. Plus it was SO thoughtful of her to have written down the entries just so that I'd remember the things we did back then. She even attached a movie theatre ticket there and wrote down what we did that day. ;-D

I couldn't help my tears from rolling down my cheeks as I read her diary entries. She wrote about things she admired from me and how she appreciated our friendship. She even attached an old pic of herself there to remind me of how she looked like when we first met in Junior High School he he he he he...

Along with the diary, she also gave me a Friendship Book (complete with WONDERFUL friendship quotations). She also wrote a letter on the last page of the book that really touched me deeply. She was the one that managed to teach me the joy of giving and sharing. I'm so proud of her, especially 'coz she's had a good personal relationship with God during the past few years. She's been there during my ups and downs and she was the one that tried to get me closer to God when I was far far away from Him.

One of the things I admire most from her is that she is not the type of Christian that keeps on preaching others without walking the walk. She teaches me about Christianity because she walks the walk. I'll always cherish my friendship with her. Even from the beginning of our friendship, I knew already that she'd be one of those people I can be good friends with for as long as we both shall live.

She's almost 8 months' pregnant right now and I can't wait to see her baby he he he...I hope she'll have a smooth delivery and everything'll be fine with her. She had contractions already ever since the fetus was 6 months' old, so she's stopped working now.

So...let's reminisce...what is one of the most memorable gifts you've ever received?

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Letting Go Meme

Jackie has tagged me to do this meme. I have to write about three things that I can never let go of.

Here are my list:

1. My faith in God. I wasn't brought up the Christian way. My parents and us kids only got to know Jesus much later in life (even though we claimed to be Christians years and years back), but right now I can say that I need Him in my life and I want to build a good personal relationship with Him. I may falter every once in a while, but I can't be where I am right now without His help and grace and blessings. I just want to learn more and more to be the best that I can be in His eyes.

2. My family and friends, including my closest friends and my blogger friends. Now I feel that my life's SO complete. ;-D

3. Hope. I can't live without it. Hope is what keeps my dreams alive. Hope is what fuels my days. Hope is what keeps me striving to be better. Hope is what keeps the world turning around. I think the world needs more hope.

I'm not going to tag anyone else, but everyone who comes here is welcome to do this meme.

3BT: October 30, 2007

1. Feeling RICH BEYOND BELIEF. I just can't believe I have SO MANY BLOGGER friends right now whom I can consider TRUE friends. Plus I get to learn A LOT from each and every one of them and I get all the support and encouragement that I need. I LOVE this life! My cup runneth overrrrrr...he he he he he he he he he he...

2. Seeing a cute bird landing on our balcony he he he he...

3. Listening to Choc Mint Girl's Christmas music choices...SO SERENE and PEACEFUL!

4. Hubby saying VERY VERY sweet words to me. (He doesn't do it too often, which surprises me whenever he's in the mood of saying such things)...I felt like flying to heaven already when he said those words to me and my eyes got a bit wet HE HE HE HE...YIIIIPPPIIIIIIEEEEE!!!!! ;-D

****** Just to remind myself of his words...when he smiled so happily as he went home for lunch today, I told him that it was as though he had won a lottery or something 'coz he looked THAT happy. He said, "Of course I did. I married you. You make me happy."

5. The anticipation I feel to go to the cabin. YEEEEEEEEESSSS!!! We're gonna bring some drinks and hamburger and sausage and cook them in the fireplace. Plus we can put the drinks outside to make them cool he he he he...Natural fridge!!! Prediction: it's gonna be around 0'C this Saturday he he he he...

6. Going to another Finnish class today. After taking a break for two weeks (last week the teacher got sick), I can't wait to have my classes again. Plus I get to meet my friends HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO...

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Operation Speak Up

Karen wrote Silence is Golden in her blog. I told her that in my life, I have to learn the other way around, especially here in Finland. I'm always afraid of trying to practise my Finnish. So the creative Karen has made me a button to launch Operation Speak Up.

THANK YOU SO MUCH for this button, buddy!!! ;-D




This operation is for everyone who's shy, who's afraid of making mistakes when practising a new language, who's afraid of speaking up their thoughts in general. This operation is to challenge anyone to move outside their comfort zone and to take risks by speaking up their minds.

I have promised Karen that I'd try to speak to my mother-in-law yesterday before I launched this operation. Turned out that I didn't have to do anything much as she was the one who initiated the conversation. Arttu was taking a nap after lunch, and since I wasn't sleepy, I got back to the living room where my mother-in-law was cooking. I thought even if we couldn't talk, I'd be able to help out if she wanted to. However, she was almost done already, so she didn't ask for my help. While waiting for the food to be cooked in the oven, she then tried to talk to me.

First of all, she said this slowly: "How old...(then she spoke some words in Finnish)?" I thought she wanted to know the age difference of my parents, so I held up four fingers. She realized I didn't get it hi hi hi...so she took a Post-It note and wrote down her own age on it. Then I realized that she wanted to ask my parents' age. So I told her and she said, "Ahhh...nuori, nuori." (nuori = young)

Then she started asking about other stuff, as well. It was a pretty funny conversation 'coz sometimes she repeated her question several times just to make sure I understood. My problem was that sometimes I understood her question, but it took me a long time to find the words in Finnish and to create a sentence using the words, so she thought I didn't understand, so she repeated the question. Next time I should find out the words for: "Let me think." He he he he he...

Then at one point we had a hard time understanding each other, so she went to her room, took out her pocket English dictionary, and tried to find words to help her explain to me what she wanted to know. I TRULY appreciated her effort in trying to converse with me. I've gotta tell you that I was sweating during the first 5-10 minutes 'coz I knew I was all alone (Arttu couldn't help me) and I had no dictionary with me. But it turned out to be better than expected. Why? Because she was so determined in talking to me with her very limited English, it encouraged me to talk to her with my very limited Finnish. Plus we got to laugh in between when we had a hard time trying to say something in those languages he he he he he...

At another point, we had another difficult time in understanding each other. Gladly by then Arttu had woken up, so he helped me a little. He refused to help me a lot, dang him! Yeah, I know it's good for me to practise, but sometimes I hope he'd help me more by giving his mother a more detailed answer (I can only give simple answers) he he he...

I've gotta tell you that with very limited knowledge, one has gotta be a good guesser, too ha ha ha...One time she asked me about my parents' jobs. I didn't know the Finnish word for "retired", so I told her that my Dad stopped working last year. She then tried to look up the word in her pocket dictionary and showed it to me, and I said YES!!! It felt GOOD to be able to understand each other he he he...

I also told her that my brother was going to get married this December. Then she said, "Oh, but you're here, so you can't go to his wedding, right?" I said that he'd send me pictures of his wedding via email he he he...Then she asked about taxes system in Indonesia (at this point Arttu was our translator 'coz it was too hard for me to explain) and about Christmas celebration he he he...


Anyway, when we got back home, Arttu joked, "I should leave you alone in my parents' place for a few weeks." GRRRRRRR he he he he...

But all in all, I felt SO HAPPY 'coz yesterday I spoke the most Finnish ever since I moved here! I'm gonna try to practise my Finnish with them again next time I see them. It seems that they're eager to ask questions about my country and family he he he...

WHOOOOOOOOPPPPPPPPPPEEEE!!!

I feel like jumping up and down the place (and I stopped sweating after those 10-15 minutes had passed) HA HA HA HA HA...

MySpace Layouts - Christmas


Good news is that next Saturday's our first wedding anniversary. It doesn't feel that way 'coz we've only been together in real life for about 7 months now. The other day I asked Arttu when we'd spend a night at the cabin again, and yesterday he told his mother that we MAY go there next weekend. YIIIIIIIIPPPPPPPIIIIIIIIIIEEEE!!! I LOVE going to the cabin 'coz there's no computer or TV to bother us. Just the radio, us, and nature!!! ;-D Plenty of quality time. YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!

P.S. Next time I'll remember my pocket Finnish dictionary so that I can talk more with my mother-in-law HE HE HE HE HE HE HE...

Santa, French Bread, Squirrel

Here are some pics I took this weekend. First of all: my cute Santa decoration (€0.40). Real size: 8.5x5x5.5 cm.



Second pic: my first Honey French Bread. Here is where I got the recipe from: Sweet Honey French Bread. I added more honey and cinnamon to the dough he he...And I sprinkled some powdered white sugar on top, too. I baked it for around 20 minutes at 190'C. Hubby didn't like it, but apparently my parents-in-law did. I brought some slices there yesterday and they were gone in no time he he he...



Plus I got to see two squirrels in my parents-in-laws' place. It was hard to get a good pic of them. I only managed to take a pic of one of them 'coz the other one ran away. The one that made eye-contact with me the other time was a bit bigger than this and CUTER, too he he he...I managed to videotape it, too, but sorry I couldn't really hold on to my camera pretty well. It was SOOOOOOOOOOO windy (as you can see for yourself later from the video tapes) and my fingers felt like freezing already even though I wore gloves. It was only 5'C yesterday but the wind made it feel as cold as, if not even colder than, last's week's -0.5'C. BRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!

Here are a few pics of the squirrel first:









I found that the best way to get a clear pic of the little fellow was to actually come near it VERY slowly...and then stop. Then move one step either to your left or right or even move closer, 'coz then it would jerk its head up and be alert. Then I should snap some pics of it while it was standing up like that he he he he...I should learn more about my camera's features. I know that there's a feature for taking pics of things or animals that move fast. Oh well...

Now here are the two videos I took. Sorry it shook a bit he he...but I hope you still enjoyed them.



Friday, October 26, 2007

I'm Thai Food!!!

Since Crystal is Chinese food, I'm curious about my result. Here goes...it makes me wanna LAUGH HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA...


You Are Thai Food



Trendy yet complex.

People seek you out - though they're not sure why.

A Sweet Treat For Me! YEEESS!!!

Jackie and Trinity shared this VERY sweet award with me he he he he...THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!




I'd love to share this with:

1.
Crystal
2. Max
3.
Sindi
4.
Mel Kaye
5.
Karen

Trinity has also given me this award again...THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! I LOVE your blog, too, Girl!!!



Boy, it feels GOOD to be loved hi hi hi hi...so I'd love to share this award with:

1. Sindi
2. Kathy
3. Livingsword

Fashion Bullying?

Found this story yesterday: Fashion Bullies Attack - In Middle School and it surprised me a lot!!!

The article said that fashion bullying is reaching a new level of intensity since more designers launch more kids' collection. Geez!!! I guess there are benefits of making kids wear uniforms. Maybe they ought to be forced to wear uniforms he he he...

In Indonesia, kids have to wear uniform until they are in High School. In universities, they are free to wear anything, except sometimes during mid-term or end-term tests, sometimes they have to wear white-and-black outfit.

Thankfully, I've never experienced any bullying in Indonesia. I can't even begin to think of how horrifying it must be to be bullied. In almost all Indonesian schools, there is no huge cafeteria or dining room for kids, so there are no "popular kid section" or "geek section". There are simply canteens where kids can buy some snack or food or drinks and they can sit on some benches they provide or just sit on their own desks inside the classrooms. Sure there are popular groups, too, but we get along well with them. I mean "we" 'coz I belonged to the geek/bookworm group ha ha ha ha ha...I LOVE being in the geek group HA HA HA HA HA HA...

Anyway, this is a quite rambling post. What I want to say is...how come schools become a "catwalk" instead of an educational institution? That's pretty crazy!!!

I find that in the quest of toning our spiritual/mental muscles, it's getting tougher and tougher to ignore the pressure of our physical looks. How can kids be made understood that it's the inner self that counts if the other kids at school tease them when they don't "dress right"? This is madness!

A Special Friendship Post 4U

This post is dedicated to:

Those people who go out of their ways to help others
By putting themselves in other people's shoes

By offering shoulders to cry on

By offering listening ears

By voicing encouraging words

By spending time amidst their busy lives


Those people who've made a difference in other people's lives

By making them smile,

Giggle,
Laugh...
Making them feel heard,
Understood,

Appreciated,

Validated,

Valued,

Cherished,

Loved.


Those people who have left their footprints in my heart...

http://www.inspire21.com/site/ecards/footprint.html


This post is for YOU...
My Angels on earth...

http://www.inspire21.com/site/ecards/destiny_brothers.html



Today I feel my heart's bursting out of its seams...I feel SO FULL inside, SO WARM, SO THANKFUL...

I've never had these many friends before, so I just want to say this:



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Free Comments & Graphics Codes


"I will not die an unlived life.
I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire. I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me, to make me less afraid, more accessible,
to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise.
I choose to risk my significance; to live so that which comes to me as seed goes to the next as blossom
and that which comes to me as blossom, goes on as fruit."
Dawna Markova


Learn how to carry a friendship greatly, whether or not it is returned. Why should one regret if the receiver is not equally generous? It never troubles the sun that some of his rays fall wide and vain into ungrateful space, and only a small part on the reflecting planet. Let your greatness educate the crude and cold companion. If he is unequal, he will presently pass away; but thou art enlarged by thy own shining.

The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, nor the kindly smile...it's the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when he discovers that someone else believes in him and is willing to trust him with his friendship.
Ralph Waldo Emerson


Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.
Anais Nin

Thursday, October 25, 2007

News from Ex-Homeland

Last night I got an email from my mother and brother. Another uncle died in his sleep the other week. I'm not close to him, though. He was a distant relative of mine and he was such a playboy. However, there's a more pressing situation that needs to be solved.

An aunt from Jakarta called Mom and told her that she wanted to spend a night at their place a day before my brother's wedding day. Mom wasn't thinking straight, so she said yes, yes, yes. I guess she was confused on how to say no and the conversation happened too fast for her to absorb everything. After hanging up the phone, she realized how impossible that was.

You see, in my parents' house now there are 4 bedrooms: my parents' bedroom, my brother's bedroom, an empty bedroom, and the bride+groom's new bedroom. A day before the wedding day, my Mom's going to held a small family party. This is a regular practice in Indonesia. The parents' siblings and kids would gather the night before the wedding day. This is probably the equivalent of bachelor party and bachelorette party. Or is it stag and hen night? Oh...whatever he he he...Maybe there are just different terms for USA and UK/Europe, eh?

Additional note: Livingsword just gave me his two cents in the comment section. I didn't know that foreigners also have a family party prior to the wedding, so I can't equate this kind of family party with bachelor/bachelorette party.

Anyway, since my Dad's been pretty forgetful lately, the plan is that for my Dad's youngest brother to spend the night at the empty bedroom, so there's no more space for guests, since nobody can sleep in the bride+groom's new bedroom. My Dad's youngest brother (he's 12 years younger) is gonna help Dad follow the D-day schedule, 'coz my Mom and brother would go to the beauty salon early on (at around 5 am) and leave them both at home until it's time for them to pick them up at the salon.

So my Mom wants me to contact my aunt's daughter to inform her via email about this in the gentlest manner possible so that she won't be offended. My brother also wrote me about this. He said he was confused when Mom kept on saying yes, 'coz he had arranged the schedule of the D-day so that my parents could rest in between the hectic day. If my aunt stays in the house, too, it's guaranteed that they won't rest at all and they'll be talking non-stop, catching up on things. They've been best friends for a long time he he he...

Mom asked me not to inform my aunt's daughter right away after the call, so I'm gonna wait until sometime next week. :-)))) I've already had a plan on what to say and I think it's gonna work he he he...

They're going to held another party on November 18th. In Chinese tradition that Chinese Indo follow, there are two parties prior to the wedding: the proposal and another "proposal" HA HA HA HA HA HA...It's hard to explain it, but basically it's similar to the first one. Some people prefer to combine both, but my brother's going to do both. So they're gonna visit the bride's family and bring some fruits and jewelleries again.

I sure do hope everything'll work out smoothly for them and that my parents are well and nobody's sick on D-day.

3BT: October 25, 2007

Today's shopping day for me. Yeah, I splurged a bit but I think I deserve to pamper myself every once in a while. Plus, it's my money anyway and I've been pretty good in budgeting myself lately he he he he he...

1. Bought small gifts for my Finnish teacher (X-mas gift) and a friend of mine who's gonna be helping me. She's coming home to Indo next March, so I'm sending her a few photo CDs and some clothes for my family. YIIPPPIIIIEEEEEEEEEE!!!!

2. Bought a pair of new winter trousers for me (€20). They're actually in the boys' section, but I don't care as long as they fit me well and they're not too expensive ha ha ha ha...

3. Found a CUTE Santa statue (for decoration) which cost only €0.40. I almost couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the price, so I grabbed it right away tightly in my arms so that nobody could take it HI HI HI HI HI HI...When I got home, I realized that the old price label was below the new one and it should've cost €1.50. YIIIIIIIIIHHHHHHHHAAAA!!! I'll take a pic of it later on and post it in another post, OK? ;-D

4. Hubby's home already (napping) 'coz he started the day earlier to go to another town to do some work there. He had to wake up at 5 am this morning. YIKES!!! Poor dear...but I'm glad he can come home earlier. Later on I think we're gonna be watching something together. I LOVE it when we watch movies together 'coz we'd be holding hands throughout the movie even though most of the times our other hands are busy with popcorn or chips or chocolate ha ha ha ha ha...LOVE holding hands with him!!! SO YUMMY!!!! Sometimes when I wanna get up to pee, he wouldn't let me go and I LOVE it, too he he he he...Ahem...Sweet, sweet, sweet!!! ;-D

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

A Friendship Badge for Me

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to Trinity (a fellow Bandungese) who made this friendship badge for me:



Childhood Imagination

The other day I started this topic in MyLot: Childhood Imagination: How creative was your brain? Did you have any imaginary friend? Any other creative ideas that your mind created when you were a kid?

I've seen many movies where kids have imaginary friends. It makes me wonder how creative our brains were when we were kids. I never had an imaginary friend, but I used to love sitting in front of my Mom's dressing table mirror and imagined that there was my other self in the mirror world. She looked just like me but we lived in different worlds. She lived in a mirror world. I used to imagine talking to her and she'd reply to me. It was sort of like an inner conversation, but my mind turned it into a two-way conversation between me and my other self in the mirror. I never named her, though. All I knew was that I was having fun talking to her ha ha ha ha...I used to start talking by asking her about her day and her life he he he...I imagined her to have a different personality. (Almost forgot to add: I think I imagined all this when I was about 7-10 years old)

In the discussion that followed, I found some interesting things:

1. One person said that she didn't have an imaginary friend, but she had a guardian angel. And the guardian angel saved her from a lot of trouble.

2. Another person wanted to have a sister so much so that she created one. She created her to be her twin sister and they'd share everything and talk about their love life, etc.

3. Another person imagined there was another world inside his closet.

4. Another person was made to believe that there were tiny people under the house, talking to her spoons and forks, so she left some food so that she could befriend those people.

5. Another one had an imaginary younger brother. Since he is the youngest, so he always wants to have a younger brother.

6. Another person had seen a young girl talking to the walls and to everywhere, to an unseen person. At first she thought the girl was some sort of weird girl, but turned out she excelled at school.

So, 'fess up, my friends...what did you imagine when you were kids? He he he he...



Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Letter Girl

Just found out that there won't be any Finnish classes today and tomorrow. Our teacher's on sick leave. Two of her wisdom teeth had just been removed this morning. OUCH!!! So I have time to write this post he he he...

I don't know why but I've always been interested in writing letters ever since I was a kid. Back then there was no internet yet, so letters were still pretty big. When I was in Elementary School, I had a good friend. Unfortunately we had different classes after a few years, so then I started writing letters to her. Her aunt'd pick her up from school and my Mom'd pick me up from school, so we exchanged letters through them he he he...As usual, they'd come before school was over so they had time to talk and to exchange our letters. I don't remember much about this as I didn't keep the letters. I think mostly they were just written on a piece of paper he he...

On the second grade in Junior High School, I sat next to an outgoing, funny girl. She started writing letters to me. We'd give the letter to each other but we'd only read it when we were home. We shared stories of our crushes and all that he he he he...It was SO MUCH FUN! She'd fold the letters in a certain way and I'd follow her steps he he he...We stopped writing each other when we went to different classes on the third grade. Now she's married and she has two kids already.

On the third grade in Junior High School, I sat next to another girl. We started exchanging letters as well. This time it continued until we got to High School. We went to different High Schools, but the building was the same. I went to the morning school, whereas she went to the afternoon one, so I'd wait for her to come to school to exchange the letters and then I'd go home whereas she started her school day.

We became pretty close because of those letters. Turned out that we had a crush on the same boy at school in Junior High!!! HA HA HA HA...So funny! She also shared some private stories that she had never told anyone else. It feels GOOD to be trusted that way. We also shared stories of our love life along High School. She started working right after graduation as she went to a vocational school. I went to the university afterward, but over the years we still kept in touch via snail mails. The frequency was dwindling, but we still kept in touch. And then we started talking to each other on the phone again. She's now married to an evangelist.

At the university, I met a sensitive girl. She started writing letters to me, so we exchanged letters every once in a while, even though we met a lot and we talked a lot in real life and also over the phone. We still keep in touch via emails.

1999 was the year when I had SO MANY emailpals. I wanted to improve my written English, so I asked my Dad to upgrade the computer and buy me a modem he he he...It was SO SLOW back then to get online. How time flies!!! Anyway, it seems that my entire life's filled with letters or emails. No wonder I LOVE blogging.

Actually a couple of years back I tried to make my own homepage and posted some of my poems and someone said to me, "Hey, it seems that you'll like blogging." Back then I didn't understand the concept of blogging, but now what she said makes SO MUCH SENSE to me. Oh yeah, to those of you who don't know, I used to write so many poems, but I think lately I've lost the knack to write good poems. It seems that nowadays I'm more in tune with essays. Back then I loved writing poems 'coz I could hide my true feelings in poetry (for fear of my journal being read by somebody else). These days I don't feel that need anymore.

Oh well...just a rambling post about the importance of writing in my life he he he...

Monday, October 22, 2007

My Deepest Condolences

Just wanna extend my deepest condolences to Janice's family who've just lost her dearest brother. May he rest in peace and may God provide comfort for those he's left behind.






Postcards taken from Inspire21.com.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Paradigm Shift

Karen wrote a post about paradigm shift (click on the link to read it) and I had to think for a few days before I finally found the answers.

My first breakthrough in paradigm shift happened during my teenage years, after I read Norman Vincent Peale's book entitled "The Power of Positive Thinking". Before reading the book, I had always been such a sensitive child. I carried score cards of people's wrongdoings (this is still a weakness I have yet to master, but I'm not as bad anymore). I've always been blessed with a good memory chip in my brain, so it is HARD for me to forget, especially if I feel that somebody's hurt me even though that person didn't mean to do it. I had been carrying balls and chains of score cards that hurt me so much for years before I found this book. Only after I found this book did I realize how stupid I was.

Back then I always justified my feelings 'coz after all, I DID feel all those churning emotions inside me and I couldn't deny those feelings. The book taught me that I shouldn't be the prisoner of my thoughts and we're in charge of our emotions. I had let my environment and other people and outside factors to dictate my emotion and that was wrong. The book showed me a better way to live. ;-D

While reading the book, the idea that struck me the most was this: "When there's a negative thought popping out, counter it with one positive thought. There's ALWAYS a positive side of everything." At first I was skeptical. Yeah, call me daft 'coz I couldn't figure it out myself hi hi hi hi...but I'm always THANKFUL for having found that book. I'm GRATEFUL to Mr. Norman Vincent Peale for having written that book. It really struck my core and changed my world completely. I used to thrive on cynicism. I even used cynicism to be funny 'coz my other friends are more naturally funnier than me, so I thought that being cynically funny would make me be "equally" funny. I realized that it wasn't really good, 'coz even though I made jokes, cynicism is still cynicism. It's still a negative force that's dangerous for me.

Anyway, even though I was skeptical, I decided to "try out" Mr. Peale's magic trick. First time it worked. Second time it got better. My mood got better in a faster period of time. Then as I kept on applying that trick, it got easier and easier for me to add more and more positive thoughts to counter the bad one. If you had known me back then during my teenage years, you'd probably be surprised he he he he...So I think this is my very first HUGE paradigm shift as it affected so many other aspects of my life. ;-D

Side note: I don't care what some people say about Norman Vincent Peale's book. Some say that his theories aren't good, but hey, I'm living proof that they DO work he he he he...

The second BIG breakthrough in paradigm shift happened a few years ago when I learnt to surrender to God completely. My close friends had already told me to do this over and over again, but I could only apply it in my life after I found HUGE stumbling blocks where I could do nothing else but to surrender to Him and trust Him completely. THANK GOD for stumbling blocks he he he he... ----> I think this proves that if the student's not ready, no matter how many teachers there are to help him/her and no matter how GREAT the teachers are, the lessons won't be too effectively absorbed by the student. He or she will still NOT get it!!!

One reason why I was reluctant in surrendering to Him completely was because I had known some people who surrendered completely to God without doing their parts. I was always wondering whether I had done enough to be able to surrender completely to God. Where's the line between surrendering to God and doing my part? I was always so confused.

However, after some time, I realize that I was wrong in thinking that way. I should've learnt to surrender to Him COMPLETELY anytime even while I was doing the best that I could. It doesn't matter where the line is as long as I do my part with the best of ability that I can and surrendering to Him completely at the same time. It doesn't have to be an "either - or" situation, but they should go together side by side. (Pssstt...I think I was also a bit of a control freak 'coz I was afraid of letting go of the steering wheel and surrendering to God - which was ironic 'coz logically speaking, it was sillier to trust myself than God!!! But that was me he he he he...)


I'm still a beginner in this area, but at least I think it's starting to get easier for me to surrender to Him completely. Finally my thick head understands that even though I feel as though I had my life in control, it's actually an illusion. God can let ANYTHING happen to me to assure my surrendering to Him completely. Thus in essence, it's still better to surrender to Him all the way through my life anyway rather than feeling "in control of everything".

Anyway, in the post, Karen asked if the readers are happy with the current state they are in. I can say that I am happy with my life right now, but I'm gonna enjoy the journeys through life. I may learn the same lessons over and over again - hopefully in deeper, wider, and more solid ways instead of forgetting them and I will surely learn new ones over the years. I think everybody has his/her own latent enemies, so do I. That's why I won't be content just staying "here", 'coz I agree with what they say: there's always room for improvement. *wink*

Three Memes In One Post




Trin tagged me to do this Common Writing Mistake meme. She also did the above test, so I wanted to do mine. I didn't know the above movie. What do you think of my result? ;-D

-start copy paste- What is my most common writing mistake?

Instructions:
To play this game, all you must do is explain what your most common writing mistake is. Then, you simply tag five individuals for the meme. Those five people will, in return, tag five more people. Ultimately, readers should see a tapestry of common grammar and spelling mistakes. Therefore, anyone that is feeling ashamed of their errors will feel a bit more confident and secure. Copy the person and persons names who sent it to you and add your own at the bottom of the list. It really helps build community. Here's the answers:

Erina

Rolando

Jon

Shine with Grace : Mixing the word “from” with “form” all the time

Trinity's most common mistake : I sometimes feel confused to use past tense or present tense when I share my stories.

Amel's most common mistake: I find it hard to try to describe something as well as I want to due to lack of vocabulary, esp. when it comes to fashion or furniture or food. I don't know much about those topics. Other than that, sometimes I write "aggressive" as "agressive".

--- I think we better list down the tapestry here so add your link and answer here--- - end copy paste -

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Janice tagged me to do this Mobile Phone meme. Unfortunately, I'm still using the old black-and-white mobile phone and I can't put any pics in it, so here's a pic of my hubby's mobile phone instead ha ha ha...As you can see, it's a pic of me. I took the pic for him to show him my new sunglasses. The pic was taken in my old bedroom in Bandung, Indo.




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Max
tagged me to do Five Dreams meme.

The idea is to:

'Write five things you want to be when you grow up. Big dreams that seem like folly, but in your heart of hearts are very real and dear to you. Things that maybe you have forgotten about in the ebb and flow and toil of the everyday, but that never really leave your soul. What you would do if anything was possible?

Spend some time day dreaming…and then post them on your blog, passing the idea along to 5 others...because sometimes we need to pause and remember our dreams. Maybe just saying them out loud will help you discover little ways you can make them happen. You can write about that, too.'


Well, since I should write about big dreams that seem like folly, here they are:

1. Experiencing an air balloon travel just like in Around the World in 80 Days, perhaps with Jackie Chan, just like in that movie hi hi hi hi hi...He seems to be a lot of fun to be with!!! ;-D

2. Owning my own bookstore. I LOVE that little bookstore that Meg Ryan's character has in the movie "You've Got Mail". I want it to be big enough to have the same kind of children's book reading sessions just like in the movie ho ho ho ho ho...*drool*

3. I want a kid or two kids, a decent house with a fireplace and my own little library filled with loads and loads of bookkkkzzzzz. Yeah, I'm crazy about collecting books hi hi hi...

4. Owning a telescope and knowing the stars and constellations in the sky and being able to enjoy it whenever the sky is clear.

5. Publishing my own book(s) one day he he he...either pre-mortem or post-mortem HE HE HE HE HE HE HE HE...

*** Accomplished "folly" dream: living abroad (when I started having this dream, I thought I would only be able to do it when I got old). YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYY!!! And finding my true love at the same time makes it even more special hi hi hi hi hi hi...

Dang...this last meme makes me flyyyyy to the skkkyyyyy he he he he...

I'm tagging anyone in my friends' list and they can choose themselves which meme they want to do. C'mon, join in the fun!!!! ;-D

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Snow, Videos, More Old Pics

Hi, everybody!

As you all know, it snowed already yesterday but today the temperature's up again so it doesn't last. The day started sunny at 1'C but then it started snowing at around 3 or 4 pm. It was only -0.5'C but it was snowing pretty thickly until late evening when we left my in-laws' place.

This post's especially for Janice he he he...The first two videos I took in April. The third and fourth one I took yesterday. I managed to take some birdie pics, as well. Here goes:


























And here are a set of old pics.

First set of pics were taken in Helsinki during my first trip to Finland in 2004.



The above pic is Esplanade Park in downtown Helsinki. The below pic is another view of the park. I was with a friend and another friend's mother (the one who took the pic).




The big yellow building in the below pic is a cafe. I went there twice. It was a pretty cozy place. ;-D




Next pic is the biggest church in Helsinki. It's a Lutheran church.



Next one: a pic of an old restaurant in Helsinki.



OK, now let's move on to Ice Castle in Kemi and some more snow pics...



The next pic is a replica of one of the hotel rooms in Kemi. Yes, they do have an ice hotel in Kemi and the restaurant tables and benches are made of ice. Of course they're covered by warm fur he he he...Just click on the above link to get more info about this.



Next pic: the long pathway before getting to the entrance of the Ice Castle. Snow started falling as we were leaving the place. Quite a romantic pic IMO! ;-D



Next set of pics were taken in Rovaniemi when I visited Santa Claus Village. Rovaniemi's located on the Arctic Circle line, so the next pic shows the distances from Rovaniemi to other big cities in the world. ;-D



For some reason I LOVE the next pic so much. I think I took this pic near Santa Claus Village.



Naturally there are plenty of souvenir stores near this Santa Claus Village ha ha ha...This next pic is one of them. ;-D



Next set of pics: the first time I TRIED miniskiing. It's similar to skiing, but the ski boards are much smaller than regular ones. We went to a hill on a forest, so we had to go up by ourselves. Arttu made the tracks for me as the snow was thick. I was SO scared of sliding down as the miniski boards were SO slippery (made of plastic). I didn't go all the way up the hill 'coz I was too scared HA HA HA HA...and as you can see from the pics, I fell down over and over and over again and COULDN'T GET UP 'coz my arms were SO tired already!!!!! No wonder in skiing places they go up the mountain with the ski lift. I'm telling you that it's NOT easy to go up there by yourself he he he...However, the best thing about it was that it was FREE to miniski there HUA HA HA HA HA...Anyway, in the next pic I was still standing proudly, but watch out the other pics hi hi hi...



Yup, that's me...couldn't get up on my own. Arttu was up there taking a pic of me and the surrounding area hi hi hi...The thick snow felt SO soft (softer than falling on pillows), though it made my butt cold ha ha ha ha...



The view around us...



Here I go again...falling down once more he he he...I got so scared of falling (sliding down without being able to stop), so that I naturally shifted my weight backward and thus I fell graciously on my butt hi hi hi hi...



Next pic: I don't have to tell you what it is.



Last pic: I found this pic taken from the second floor of our house. Well, it was an open space designed as a place to hang our clothes dry. Here's the small alley where I lived. The nearest rooftop is my parents' house's rooftop. As you can see, the alley's so small...it's only big enough for two motorcycles (regular ones).



OK, this is long enough. Phew!!!

3BT: October 10, 2007

1. I got my wish: IT SNOWED TODAY!!! I'm gonna post some pics tomorrow he he he...

2. I got caught in the act. When we were about to go home from my in-laws, I went to pee first and in the toilet I was thinking of a dance song that made me shake my booty a bit...when I went out of the toilet, I saw Arttu packing some leftover near me, so I did shake my booty in front of him, but then my mother-in-law walked toward us just as I was about to stop doing that (I did that just to make Arttu smile). My mother-in-law LAUGHED right away and Arttu looked SO HAPPY 'coz I got caught in the act. I seem to have this knack of doing embarrassing things in front of my mother-in-law. Oh well, at least we all had some laughs HE HE HE HE HE HE HE...If this keeps up, I think I may lose most of my inhibition in a short period of time. This is one thing I LOVE about moving here...back in Indo I couldn't really let myself go...hi hi hi hi hi...

3. I think my mother-in-law can read my mind. I was looking at some magazines (I said LOOKING 'coz I couldn't really understand the text as all of the magazines were in Finnish) and saw some recipes using cabbage. I was thinking of buying some later on, but then I found out that my mother-in-law gave us some frozen cooked cabbage+meat already. WOOOHOOOO!!!! Am I lucky or what? THANK YOU, God!!!! ^__________________________________^

4. Found out that I've made enough money in MyLot to cash it out in the middle of next month. I've just joined them a month ago and I've already got $10. Not bad, eh? If any one of you is interested in joining the site, I'd appreciate it if you click this referral link below:

http://www.mylot.com/?ref=ailema4ever


For those who're curious, MyLot is a kind of forum where you can post new discussions about anything at all (except jokes and recipes) or if you don't like posting new discussions, you can always comment on other people's discussions. You'll get money from posting discussions or commenting on other people's discussions, esp. if they rate your comments as positive ones. ;-D It's not too boring (like clicking advertisements) and it's not too tough to do, either.

Just make sure that if you do join the site, read the guidelines first so that your posts or comments won't be deleted (if they get deleted, then you'll lose some cents) he he he...

Friday, October 19, 2007

Brotherly Love

I know this pic isn't too clear, but I just want to share it with you. Right before we went to bars last Friday, this pic was taken by my hubby's brother's girlfriend using his mobile phone.

Yep...Arttu and his brother showing some luuuuvvvv to each other he he he he...




ENJOY your weekend, everybooodddyyyyyyy!!!! ;-D Let me end this by sharing these FUNNY cartoons HUE HE HE HE HE HE HO HO HO HA HA HA HA...




World's Oldest Blogger

Have you heard about the world's oldest blogger, Olive Riley? She's turned 108 years old.

This is her first post with the help of a friend:


I'd LOVE to blog until the day I die he he he he he he...

Joke of the Day

When I was MyLotting, I found this funny joke image. Source: unknown (if somebody's seen this pic somewhere, pls tell me so I can write down the source here). Click on the pic to see a bigger version!



My Dad and His Mother

Karen tagged me to do a meme about 8 Facts on Grandma, but I think I'm gonna write a LONG post about this instead of writing 8 things about my grandma ha ha ha...Since I've written some things about my grandma from my mother's side, I think it's time for me to write some history from my dad's side.

My Dad's parents used to live in Central Java. Dad said that during his glorious moments, my grandpa was a pretty well-known person and he was rich. I don't know why both of them decided to move to Bandung. I've never even met my grandpa as he died even before my Dad met my Mom.

Anyway, my grandma was born in such a traditional period of time. She wasn't taught any skills other than to take care of the house, cook, and sew, so she couldn't find work outside of home. When my Dad was a teenager, grandpa's business went bankrupt. Some people tricked him, so life became so tough on them. They had 6 kids altogether. My Dad is the second one and his eldest sister is only a year older than him. When they were teenagers, the eldest sister was pretty much a party girl. She went out A LOT and got back home late to dance. Dad said that one time my grandpa was SO angry about her coming home late so that he grabbed a chair and hit her with it until the chair broke, but she didn't even flinch or shed a tear. Amazing, isn't it?

After grandpa died (I don't know exactly when), but it must've been around the time when my Dad was at his twenties. Dad said that he had only one year left to do at the university before he graduated, but grandpa didn't have enough money to pay for his tuition, so he quit and he started looking for a job. Since Dad was more responsible than his eldest sister, he told us that grandma favoured Dad more than the others.

Dad and his siblings started to work early on to support their livelihood, including grandma's expenses. Grandma is a very meek person. I remember that every time we visited her, she'd offer us hopjes. This is a pic of the EXACT kind of hopjes that she always offered us.





Just like my mom's mother, grandma loved wearing traditional clothes. Here's a pic of her with her grandkids. It was taken when I was around 13 years old (look at my YUCKY hairdo!!!). Yep, that's right...I'm the one sitting on her side with the orange T-shirt. My brother is standing right next to me.



She had stroke twice. The first time she had it, I remember vaguely going to the hospital to visit her. I think she recovered enough after that first time. She was still able to do some things and she could speak again (if I remember correctly), but the second time she had it, she could only rest in bed. At first she stayed with my Dad's younger brother, but then she moved with my Dad's eldest sister.

She was never angry or emotional, always so calm. Maybe that's one reason why she had strokes. She kept everything inside. I never really got to know her that well. She was a private person, but she was a good mother-in-law for my mom he he he...She never criticized my mom or said anything bad.

She was so meek that even if nobody fed her, she wouldn't have complained. She just lay still on her bed and accepted her fate. Every now and then she'd smoothen a crease on her sarong or the bedding. She was quite the opposite of my mom's mother who was loud, could be pretty aggressive if needed be, and didn't have a problem expressing her thoughts or anger.

Another memory I have of her I've written down in my earlier post here: A Fond Memory of Chicks.

Dad loved her so much, especially since it seemed that he was her fave kid. He said that during their toughest days, sometimes they asked for leftover from a food factory and that was all that they would eat. Dad also said that sometimes grandma bought her some snack and hid it safely somewhere. When the other kids arrived home from school or work and asked grandma if they had some snack, grandma would say no. However, whenever Dad arrived home, grandma would immediately take it out and the other kids would complain he he he he he...

I guess that's not much. Grandma died when I was still a teenager, so I didn't have too many vivid memories of her. I knew my mother's mom better than her 'coz we got to live with her for years. All I know that I liked her better than my mother's mom who had such a temper he he he he he...

P.S. I'm tagging MAX to do this meme 'coz I know that her grandma's such a WONDERFUL person, so I wanna know her a little bit more.