Monday, March 31, 2008

3BT: Random Days Again

Note: I've been busy again, so I'll only blog-hop during the weekend, OK? But I may still write short posts so that my blog isn't too outdated he he he...Take GOOD care of yourself and love yourself, everybody!!!

1. Getting student money = I can buy fruit more often HI HI HI HI HI HI HI...

2. Talking to my sis-in-law and Mom over the phone. Glad to hear they're all fine and that my sis-in-law's pregnancy is still going fine. :-D

3. Hearing news that my brother got quite a nice amount of bonus from work. YAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!

4. My mom-in-law's thoughtfulness. She always looks out for me without interfering. I LOVE the way she loves me and I hope she knows that I love her, too. :-))))

5. Snow truck guys working so hard today since it's been SO wet today ---> it was raining water today!!! THANK YOU, guys!!!

6. Not falling off while walking on icy snow. Phew!!! I'm SO glad he he he...

7. Still feeling so much passion for my hubby. Passion fluctuates, yet when it comes out strongly, it's still SO strong that it would like to burst out of my chest. I hope that I can keep this up until one of us dies.

8. Kissessssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss. I LOVE kisses!!!

9. Buying something for someone today, but I can't tell what it is or for whom since that person may read this post HUA HA HA HA HA HA HA...*wink*

10. Being able to curb my appetite to buy chips and instead I use the money to buy apples HE HE HE HE HE...

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Quotes of the Day

It is amazing what can be accomplished when we don’t care who gets the credit.

Paul told the church at Corinth, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase” (1 Cor. 3:6-7).

And here's the song of the day which I've loved ever since I listened to it the first time: "Magnificent Obsession" by Steven Curtis Chapman.

Friday, March 28, 2008

3BT: Random Days

1. Hubby saying to me "I'm sick for you so that you don't have to be sick" when he got a slight fever again and his nose started to be runny again.

2. Feeding hubby yoghurt and apple while he was gaming online (not the same night!) and hearing him thank me. *grin*

3. Getting the job training contract today. YIPPIIEEEEEEE!!!! ;-D

4. Hubby holding my fingers weirdly last night (he wasn't holding my hand, but my fingers). I didn't realize at first that he was doing that to WARM up my fingers since they felt cool to him, even though I wasn't really feeling cold. Still the gesture was SO nice. *BIG GRIN again*

5. Finding cheap teenage books in Finnish at a flea market. Bought two just to practise reading Finnish HO HO HO HO HO HO...

6. Finding cheap (new) woolen socks at the same flea markets. At the other flea market, the cheapest ones I found cost €10, but at this flea market, they only cost €3.50 HUA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA...ME HAPPY, SO VERY HAPPY!!! And the colours are SO nice as well...light yellow and blue HO HO HO HO HO HO HO...

7. Hearing nice, positive things from different people he he he he he...

8. Tuna puff pastry, hot from the oven. YUM YUM!!!!

9. Found moose meat on a BIG discount HUE HE HE HE HE HE...

10. Feeling the sun warming up my face and back...mmmmmmm...

Thursday, March 27, 2008


Today after the course I went back to the store, hoping that I'd meet the boss so that I could ask for the training contract. The boss was there, but there were 2 customers, so I waited a while. However, not long after that, the woman I talked to the first time (who said I could do the training there) came into the store and she recognized me right away HE HE HE HE HE HE HE...So I talked to her about the papers I needed from them and I told her that they didn't have to hurry since I could always go back there later. She asked me to come back tomorrow, so I guess tomorrow I'll get the contract from them. YIPPPPIIIEEE!!!

My task isn't done yet, though. I still need to ask the signature of the boss of the firm who organizes this course and then sign the contract myself, then make some copies for me, the boss of the store, and the boss of the firm who organizes the course. But still it feels great to know I've secured a place there, since today my teacher helped another student ask a store manager (a different store) whether he could do the training there, but the store manager said that the place was booked already.

Now I also want to explain something about my previous post: about my not being as chatty as (some) other people.

Well, basically speaking, it depends on the other person, as well. With some people I tend to be able to be MORE chatty, but some people draw my silence out he he he...I can be chatty when I've known someone, but I'm not someone who'll chat people up in bars or any means of transportation. My MOM is someone who was born chatty. She will chat up with ANYONE she meets, such as public transport drivers or passengers or whomever she meets.

I can be especially chatty when I've known someone and we're talking one-on-one. BUT if I'm in a big group of MANY CHATTY PEOPLE, I can't seem to bring myself to be the chattier (chattiest) one. Those chatty people drown my voice out. I've found this to be particularly true when I'm among my ex university friends. Most of them are REALLY chatty he he he he he he he he...

And why did I say I'm not chatty? Because I'm no good at breaking the ice. If someone else does it, then I'll be SO HAPPY HA HA HA HA HA...but if I'm with a very shy and quiet person, then I'll be as confused as that other person on how to break the ice hi hi hi hi...

OK, this post is winding enough. I need to boil some potatoes now!!! I'll blog-hop again a bit tomorrow. Sorry I haven't been able to visit many people every day, since I need to focus more on my upcoming exam. After the exam, I'll be able to spend more time blog-hopping (I think).

Take care, everybody!!!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Talk, Amel, Talk!!!

Life has a funny way of giving you the lessons you "try" to avoid ha ha ha...When life's determined to shape you in a certain way or when you're still not learning the same lessons over and over again, then you'll face a similar problem again. And perhaps again.

I've told you that I've found a place to do my training after the course ends in mid June. The problem is that I still have to meet the boss to work on the training contract. And I also need to ask about my working hours and when my lunch break is and stuff like that.

Yesterday I went to the store again to do that, but alas, the boss was talking on the phone and there were some customers there. Plus I saw another guy restocking the place, so they must've been busy. So I went home and decided to go back to the store today.

Today I went there after the course, hoping to find the same woman I talked to last week that told me that I could do the training there. Alas, there was a different person near the counter and I didn't see the boss there. I did talk to her, though, in Finnish. I explained to her about what I wanted to do, and then she replied in a "normal" pace in Finnish, which sounded in my ears like "blrblblrrlkbbbklllrrrbbbllrlrlblblrlblrbbblrrbbbrrlkllkkllllbbbrrr".

So I smiled and asked her politely to say it more slowly. She smiled and decided to change her words into simpler ones (I know it for sure since at first she said SO many sentences!!!). THANK GOD for that hi hi hi hi...I LOVE it when Finnish people try to explain something to foreigners in a simpler way. I TRULY appreciate it!!! She said that today was her first day at work and that I should talk to the boss instead so that everything would be clear. She said that the boss would probably come either the next day or the day after, so I should come back later.

Phew!!! I actually still "dislike" talking to new people in Finnish, since I don't know whether I can understand them or not. I can prepare at home whatever it is I want to ask or say, but I have NO idea whether I can understand what the other person is saying to me or not. I guess my self-confidence is still so low hi hi hi hi hi...Plus I'm not really a people person. I'm getting better at practising Finnish (read: forcing myself to speak), but still I'm not nearly as chatty as people who are born chatty, you know what I mean? *wink* If I don't really have to talk, I prefer still not to talk HA HA HA HA HA HA...

Anyway, speaking of health, I've been doing MUCH better though my nose's still runny and every morning for the past few days I've been able to blow out some YUCKY stuff out of my nose. I described the yucky stuff in detail to Arttu and he asked me, "Do you have to describe it to me?" LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL!!!

Ahem...what can I say? I AM a gross girl sometimes HA HA HA HA HA HA HA...You can ask my closest female friends and they'll all say the same thing hi hi hi hi...

And speaking of MONEY, remember when I said that last week I got more student money than I thought? WRONG!!! It was actually the accumulation of unemployment money. You see, I didn't know that I could have applied for unemployment money since I had NEVER worked in Finland. When I applied for the student money right before the course started, the government sent me so much paperwork to fill and they asked me to explain why I hadn't applied for unemployment money when I first moved to Finland.

Today I received the notification from them, stating that I was actually eligible to get unemployment money starting from last June, but since my application came so late, they only paid me unemployment money starting from last December.

So the money they sent me last week wasn't my student money. I'm REALLY HAPPY to get that extra sum of money, though, since I didn't even expect it!!! Every cent of it goes RIGHT into my "untouchable" account HUE HE HE HE HE HE HE...Pretty soon I'll be able to get back the amount of money I want to keep safely in that account. HALLELUJAHHHHHH!!!!!!!!

Okie dokie, I think I may exercise right now so that tomorrow morning I don't have to wake up too early he he he...I tried to take a nap, but unfortunately sleep didn't come over me, so better make the most of the time then he he...I'll blog-hop again either tonight or tomorrow, OK?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Submission Riddle

Read something REALLY GOOD earlier that I thought I'd share with everybody, particularly Christians. How often do we hear the verse that says that a wife is supposed to submit to the husband? And how often is that verse misused?

Here's what I read today: The Submission Riddle.

In the end, it all boils down to LOVE...

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. . .And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. - excerpts from 1 Corinthians 13:4-13

Monday, March 24, 2008

Down and Out

Hi, everybody!

How was your holiday? Mine was chock-full of R & R (Rest and Rest). I caught some of hubby's viruses and it made me feel SO tired all the time. I didn't have any fever, but my nose was blocked and I could feel my throat getting weirder and weirder. Plus I'm near my period, so that was an added factor towards my fatigue.

On Friday we went to my in-laws and I brought my "weird" chocolate cake. Sorry to say that it didn't turn out too good, though the taste was OK he he he...Turned out that mom-in-law had bought a strawberry cake for Arttu, so in the end we got to eat two types of cake. When I'm really fit later on, I really should burn the fat by kicking some "invisible" asses (read: doing Taebo kicks) HE HE HE HE HE...

Then as usual we went to sauna and sauna really made me feel GOOD...and sleepy. I took a nap right away after that. I must say that ever since I caught some viruses, I had been sleeping like a dead fish. I TRULY hope that tomorrow I'm 100% okay since I really need to focus on my course again.

So that's why I haven't been blog-hopping or blogging. I'll resume my blogging activities again tomorrow. Now I need to study a bit since I hadn't been studying much at all due to my condition. I'm GLAD that I've had a long holiday to recuperate, though. After all, it'll be DOUBLY bad if I get sick during course days he he he he...

I gave my mom-in-law some flower seeds and she looked delighted. She said that she'd plant them in spring he he he...

Hope you've had MORE FUN during this Easter holiday. I'd have wanted to go mini-skiing, but maybe next time. My brother-in-law asked me if we wanted to tag along with him, his girlfriend and daughter, but I said that I should take a rain check on that offer.

Take care, everybody!!!

Thursday, March 20, 2008


Before I forgot...First of all:

HAPPY EASTER to everybody who celebrates it! God bless you all!!!!

These past few days have been flooded with blessings. *WIDE SMILE*

First of all, we've got the return tickets to Indonesia. YAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYY!!!!!

Then I bought something from Huuto.Net (a kind of Finnish ebay). The seller sent it as a package which status I could check online. After days checking the status online, nothing changed. Suspicious, I told Arttu about it and he told me to go to the PO to check it out since the package was supposed to come in two days already. So I went there and they couldn't find it!!!!!!!!!! I contacted the seller (I had to practise my written Finnish as she's Finnish) and told her that I couldn't give her any feedback yet since I hadn't gotten the package yet. She was REALLY nice and she described the packaging she used (starry gift paper).

The PO guy told me to come again the next day and he'd try to find it. I asked Arttu to go there since if they did find it, the package would be 2.1 kgs. When I got back home, the package was there already. I asked Arttu if they had found it already when he got there, but he said he had to describe the packaging before they could find it. Apparently one of the guys who took the package to this PO forgot to register it online when it arrived. I'm SO glad that the seller used a special gift paper so that it was easy for the PO worker to find it HE HE HE HE HE...I'm SO glad the package was found!!!

Then the other day I also went to a new flea market and found a VERY friendly old Finnish guy. He started asking me questions and I could answer his questions. It was good practise even though I couldn't really understand every little word he was saying.

Then yesterday I decided to be brave enough to find myself a training place. As I've said before, after the course is done in June, we need to find a place for us to do some training. Anywhere in the city. At first I was thinking of ask the people in the bookstore, but I realized that the place was SO small and there were THREE people already in it. So I followed my gut feeling and went to a souvenir store instead. I had to practise my Finnish again hi hi hi hi...My heart was beating FAST, you know? But at least I managed to get myself a training place already. YAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYY!!!!! ;-D

What else? Ummm...oh yeah, this morning I checked my bank account since I had to pay for something online and realized that I got MORE student money than I thought I'd get. GEE...I sent 85% of the money already to my "untouchable" account (only for VERY urgent matters). At this rate, I'm VERY sure I'll soon be able to reach the amount of money before we used that account to buy the plane tickets to Indo. YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYY!!!!!!!! I felt like JUMPING up and down this morning, you know? It's SO AMAZING HUE HE HE HE HE HE HE...

I also received an email the other day from the police station that my residence permit would be ready in the beginning of April (had to extend my expired permit). I was beginning to worry a bit since it took MUCH longer than what they first told me. Phew!!! I don't wanna be separated with hubby againnnnn!!!!!!!!!

And today after the course was done, my Thai friend realized that my nose was runny, so she gave me a bottle of Chinese Thai-brand menthol oil to help me out. She's been such a giving person!!! I admire her for that! She even gave each of us an Easter ornament he he he he he...

Last Monday was my mom-in-law's birthday, so I sent her SMS since it was more practical that way he he he...In the SMS, I also told her that we'd go to Indonesia in October and that after that we'd try having a kid. She replied, saying that she also wanted to have another grandkid HE HE HE HE HE HE HE...I found some flower seeds in Lidl the other day, so I bought several packages. I hope she has never grown some of them yet. ;-D

Today I'm baking a cake for mom-in-law and Arttu since today's Arttu's birthday. I'll bring the cake tomorrow to Kelujärvi with us. As usual, it's chocolate cake since I LOVE chocolate HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA...

So, you know why I chose that title for this post, right? I've met WONDERFUL, WONDERFUL people and I've got more than I need. Plus this weekend is a LONG weekend where I can rest HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO HO...

Okie dokie, everybody...let's just rest and relax this weekend he he he...

2 Tags: Page 161 and If I Were...

Max tagged me to do these two interesting memes HE HE HE HE...So this one's for you, my dearest Maxine!!!!!! ;-D

The first consists of selecting a book, opening it on page 161 and choosing a complete sentence.

I chose "Sophie's World" by Jostein Gaarder: "God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands, neither is worshipped with men's hands, as thought he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things.

If I were a month I'd be....November ('coz it's my birth month and my Mom always says I was born lucky HUA HA HA HA HA HA...)
If I were a number I'd be....7 (my fave number)
If I were a planet I be...Saturn (I love Saturn's ring)
If I were a direction I'd be...West (For some reason I've always loved west)
If I were furniture I'd be...a very comfortable King-size bed ('coz I'm such a sleepyhead HE HE...)
If I were a liquid I'd chocolate ('coz I'm sweet and hot? HA HA HA HA HA HA...)
If I were a sin I'd be...pride
If I were a gem/stone I'd be...jade
If I were a metal I'd be...stainless steel
If I were a tree I'd tree
If I were a fruit I'd be...blueberry
If I were a flower I'd be...bluebells.

Image taken from: here

If I were weather I'd be....sunny, a bit humid, but not too hot (spring weather)
If I were a music instrument I'd be...violin
If I were an element I'd be...water
If I were a colour I'd be...NAVY BLUEEEEEEEEE!!!
If I were an animal I'd be...a very cute, clever, and lovable cat.
If I were a sound I'd be...soothing
If I were a lyric I'd be...Everything Glorious by David Crowder Band.
If I were a song I'd be...Something Beautiful by Newsboys. Here, while I'm here, let me share the video clip as well hi hi hi...

If I were a music type I'd be...a mixture of many types of music: pop, alternative, rock.
If I were a perfume/cologne I'd be...something fruity and fresh (I don't use perfume and I don't know the names of perfumes)
If I were a feeling I'd be...hope
If I were a book I'd be...Ouch this is hard!!! Hmmm...I wonder what I'd be? Maybe "The Phantom of the Opera" he he he...'coz it's one of my VERY fave books on earth!!!
If I were food I'd be...Chinese food ha ha...
If I were a city I'd be...Barcelona
If I were a taste I'd be...DARK CHOCOLATEY!!!
If I were a scent I'd be...strawberry
If I were a word I'd be...beloved
If I were a verb I'd be...write
If I were an object I'd be...salt
If I were a piece of clothing I'd be...very comfy stretched pants
If I were a body part I'd be...heart
If I were an facial expression I'd be...content
If I were a cartoon character I'd be...Ernie (from Sesame Street)
If I were a movie I'd be...Les Miserables (the one with Liam Neeson and Claire Danes on it HUA HA HA HA HA...)
If I were a geometrical figure I'd be...a circle
If I were one of the 4 seasons I'd be...spring
If I were a sentence I'd be..."I believe in miracles (big or small) and angels on earth."

Tag: What Do You Think About Me?


1. Being able to go back to Indonesia when my parents are about to die or when they die later on.

2. Being able to get pregnant at the end of this year.

3. Getting a bigger, comfortable place to stay near downtown with affordable rent once the baby is going to be born or before the baby is born.

4. Growing old together with hubby and being able to maintain our wonderful relationship.

5. Being able to leave a legacy of love and sunshine and positive thoughts, grace and plenty of smilessssss.



1. She's very beautiful and attractive
2. She's devoted to God and her family.
3. She's VERY creative in art.
4. She's open to other people's suggestions.
5. She's friendly and sociable.


Ahhhhh...too many to count...but I guess one thing that leaves an indelible impression on me was when she told me that in one post I had written, she was reminded that nobody was perfect and that the phrase had helped her get through something in her life.


When she taught me the basics about blogging and blogging for money he he he...

F) THE MOST FAVORABLE POST OF HERS:'s too hard to find the posts (I'll try to do it later), but I ABSOLUTELY LOVE the post when she writes down about her conversations with God. ;-D Ah, I found one example. Here you go: My Valentine 2008.


The importance of talking to God all the time and having an open enough mind to accept other people's input. :-))))

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Trip to Rovaniemi

The trip to Rovaniemi went smooth. As usual, Sleepyhead Me even managed to take a short nap in the car HUE HE HE HE HE...

However, I didn't expect the day to be HOT HOT HOT!!! In the morning the temperature was -17'C, so I was dressed accordingly. We went to Kelujärvi to have lunch together with the kids, then we left to Rovaniemi at around 12.30 pm. By then the temperature came up to only -1'C. I should've taken off some layers of clothes since we wouldn't be outside too much, but I didn't do it. So in the car I was ROASTED by the HOT sun. It was such a cloudless day that the sun was really scorching for me. It was also blinding me and making my throat SO SO SO SO dry!!!

Gladly I managed to sleep for a bit hi hi hi...thus the trip didn't feel too long. I took off my shoes and my leg warmers in the car, but I couldn't have taken off my woolen shorts that I had put on over my regular long john he he he...

When we arrived in downtown Rovaniemi, we went straight to the malls. That day was also a graduation day for some students there, so they were dressed up in different costumes. Here's a picture of astronauts in downtown Rovanemi he he he...

And art lovers, can you please explain to me what this is?!?!?!?!?!?! For the life of me, I can't imagine what this looks like hmmm...

And here are some more pics of downtown Rovaniemi...

Then we went to a Pizza Buffet restaurant where we could eat anything we wanted with one price only. It was OK. After that we went to another shopping mall and I found a T-shirt on a discount (it was only €5), so I bought it. Arttu also found a big bundle of Donald Duck on a discount. Yes, he's a HUGE fan of Donald Duck (in Finnish he's called Aku Ankka - Ankka = Duck. Funnily enough, in Indonesian the word "aku" means "I" or "me"). Arttu was SO HAPPY to get that book he he he he...After all, he doesn't really like window shopping HA HA HA HA...Gladly he could tag along with the nephews while my sis-in-law and I went to women's clothes stores he he he...

Here's a pic of the bookstore.

After that we had to go to the train station. It was the first time I ever went to that train station. Here are some pictures.

The last picture is Arttu near the parking lot of the train station.

I must say that going to Rovaniemi felt like going back to "civilization" again ha ha ha ha...Because there were FAR MANY more people and cars there. I don't know what I'm going to feel when I'm back in Indo. I'm a bit apprehensive that I'll be SHOCKED by the amount of traffic and people and traffic jam there he he he...

Oh well...I'll blog-hop tomorrow, OK? Now I'm a bit tired and I still have homework to do and I need to prepare myself for the upcoming test. ;-D

Sunday, March 16, 2008

One Year Anniversary

Vince wants to know about my impression on my life after having lived here in Sodankylä for one year. Yesterday I went to Rovaniemi, so I didn't have time to write something special about my one year anniversary in Finland he he he...

Let me just copy and paste his questions as they'll help me write down this post hi hi hi...

Amel, you've been in Finland a whole year now. What are your views about that? Are you happy? Do you miss Indonesia, is it hard to be away from your family for such extended periods?

First of all, when I first moved to Finland, as I'd told you in my older post, I got scared on the plane and I started thinking of all the bad and worse and worst possibilities of life. So, for that matter, my expectations were very low when I arrived and that has made a GREAT difference to me. I had read many different points of view about living in Finland in Finland Forum (a forum for expats in Finland), so I just kept my mind open about everything. The result? I can honestly say that I'm MUCH MUCH MUCH happier than I thought I could be, particularly since I didn't expect anything.

I have GREAT in-laws and I get along well with Arttu's brothers and sister-in-law. I've met MANY thoughtful people here and now I've got WONDERFUL friends. I NEVER thought that there would actually be a Finnish course opening here, especially a full-time course, so that made me ELATED!!!

I had NEVER thought that I could go back to Indonesia this fast, so I'm VERY THANKFUL for that. Plus it makes me feel 10000 times more THANKFUL to know that I'm making my family SO HAPPY about my return to Indonesia this fast. ;-D When I moved to Finland, I had told my Mom that I wouldn't know when I would be able to return to Indonesia and she knew that.

Since I never thought that I could go back to Indo, my self-defense mechanism had kicked in VERY strongly even before I landed on Finnish ground. That means that I had blocked a huge part of myself so that I wouldn't miss my family and Indonesian food too much. A friend of mine told me the other week that she was surprised that I had actually done that, but what's the use of letting yourself miss something or someone too much when you don't even know when you can meet that person or eat that food again, right? It's better just to enjoy what you can enjoy and not think of the things I cannot have. There are prices you have to pay for every choice you make and I had made my decision. Thus I have to live with the consequences.

Is it hard being away from my family? Yes and no. It's particularly difficult when there's family trouble or when one of them is gravely ill. I can't be there physically for them and I can't help them out physically. I was really sad when my Dad got symptoms of stroke last year and when he suffered from post power syndrome that made him snap on my Mom since he got so defensive and sensitive to whatever she said. Glad to say that my Dad's been MUCH better these days.

In a way, though, I'm HAPPY to have my own place which I had longed for more than a little while. I guess you could say that I was ready to spread my wings and fly from my nest he he he...;-D So I'm GLAD to be away from my family with a very calm and understanding hubby he he he...

My views about Finland? Hmmm...I had never actually been in Sodankylä prior to moving here, so again I had NO idea how I'd react to it. The first month was rough since I felt like a fish out of water...but then it slowly got easier and easier as I knew my way around. I first thought that I might not like living here since I had lived my whole life in a big city where malls were everywhere...but GLADLY that's not true. ;-D

I've LOVED other aspects of this village that I can't possibly find in Indo: fresh air, no traffic at all, snow, reindeer, birds singing happily all the time, cute squirrels, the many variations of colours in the sky, Midnight Sun, drinkable tap water that tastes SO GOOD, trees, lakes, rivers, sauna, cider, reindeer meat, not having to iron clothes, not having to hang clothes to dry outside, not having to worry whether the apartment's roof's going to leak or not, not having to be overly cautious and alert whenever I go out for fear of pickpockets and whatnots, serenity (this is definitely not a noisy place), no cockroaches (my mortal enemies!!!), no rats, no ants, no smoking inside houses or buildings, sky stretching miles and miles away that makes me feel that this world is TRULY vast, free courses (they're not only free, but we also get paid!!! In Indonesia, usually what's "free" is either yucky or it comes with some strings attached).

I'm not going to count the aspects of this village or country that I dislike since it won't do me any good, but I guess I can share just one particular thing he he he...One thing is dislike is when the snow melts and then turns to ice. It's SO slippery and I'm SO afraid of falling down and breaking my bone(s). Arttu had fallen on ice once and twisted his arm (gladly no broken bone). My Brit friend MC had also slipped on ice and broke her arm. And as you probably know, my mother-in-law also slipped on ice last December and her ankle had to be put on cast. Since she's old, even until now she still feels some pain when walking without cast.

Anyway, one of the highlights of my year is of course BLOGGING. I don't think I've EVER learnt and re-learnt so many lessons in the course of a year before I moved to Finland. Being outside my safety zone is reason enough to learn more things, but another reason is learning from my blogger friends' lives. If you wanna read again the lessons I've learnt and re-learnt this year, just click on the link.

OK, I think this post is long enough. Last but not least, I'd just love to THANK all my blogger friends who have really been enriching my life with all your stories, comments, feedback, input, questions, and reflections.

You are my TRUE friends and teachers...

Friday, March 14, 2008

Test, Rovaniemi, Jerk, Anniversary, Baby Clothes

1. The Upcoming National Finnish Test

I haven't had time to write about the YKI test (the national Finnish test). The other week I found a practice test online, including the listening test recordings. The test is still FAR beyond my ability right now, but funny thing is that the realization just throws away any kind of pressure I have on myself.

I don't know about you...but for me, when I feel that I think I may be able to do something very well, but I'm not 100% sure yet, then the pressure I feel can be SO high, but then when I know it's WAY beyond myself and yet there's no harm done in trying to do it, then I feel FREE of burdens and I can just give it my best shot and enjoy the process even more. ;-D

2. Trip to Rovaniemi.

Tomorrow hubby and I are going to take my sis-in-law and nephews to Rovaniemi for their flight to Pori. If nothing comes up, we're going to look around a bit in Rovaniemi since I hadn't really gone anywhere there except to Santa Town he he he...I'm SO glad to have a thoughtful sis-in-law who wants to show me around he he he...

The only problem is that the eldest son, who's a teenager already, doesn't want to do that ha ha ha ha...The youngest one is still eager to do things with the adults, but the teenage one...well, you know how teenagers are HA HA HA HA HA...;-D

3. Meeting A Jerk:

Today I came home and decided to bake cheese/sandwich bread, so I went back to Lidl after I found out how much ham and cheese I should buy. At Lidl, I was doing my own business as usual without noticing anybody else much...when I was near the frozen veggies section, suddenly a guy who stood around 1 metre away on my left talked to me.

I thought he was confused about something and he needed help, but when I turned around and looked at him, he suddenly came closer and put out his hand and said, "Terve" (hi) softly. Since I disliked being rude at people, I put out my hand and replied, "Terve."

Then he started becoming more confident and he started talking to me in Finnish, though I didn't understand every little word he said since he talked softly and quickly, but I managed to get "Nippon". I assumed he thought I was a Japanese, so I said to him that I was an Indonesian girl.

He looked confused when I said that. It seemed he was looking for some words, so I just kept on browsing on the frozen veggies section. I thought he would back away, but instead he came closer again and he said something which I didn't really get, but I managed to hear "vaimo" (wife). Since I got more scared about him, I immediately said, "My husband is Finnish." He looked surprised and he was laughing and nodding and he backed away.

I THOUGHT he would go away for good, but you know what he did next? OUTRAGEOUS!!! He came back after walking a few steps away and he asked me for some MONEY!!!!!!!!!!! GRRRRRRRRRR!!!!! He looked PERFECTLY healthy and young and he was asking me for MONEY?!?!?!?!?! Unbelievable!!!

After having lived in Finland for more or less a year now (I just realized that tomorrow's my 1 year anniversary), I had never come across anyone like that except in bars when some guys got drunk, but then again in the bars I am never alone, so I feel safer. Oh well...quite an experience!!!

4. One Year Anniversary in Finland Tomorrow:

Speaking of my 1 year anniversary in Finland, it's a coincidence that tomorrow we're going to Rovaniemi to do some window shopping he he he...I've always wanted to go back there anyway. And we're going to look for my mom-in-law's birthday gift there, too. Her birthday is coming soon (3 days earlier than Arttu).

I should recharge my digicam so that I can bring it to Rovaniemi tomorrow he he he...

5. Baby Clothes.

I've been bidding for some baby clothes from a Finnish website. I want to bring many baby clothes to Indo for my brother's baby since it'll be MUCH cheaper to bring them there myself. Plus I don't know when I'll be able to go back there to bring the clothes, so I'm going to buy them in different sizes. I'm not going to buy the smallest sizes in case the baby's born big HA HA HA HA HA...

I can't afford buying new baby clothes for them, but I'm sure they won't mind getting second hand clothes. After all, babies grow so fast and it's better to have plenty of clothes to change, right? HE HE HE HE HE...Arttu has been shaking his head since I'm a bit obsessed about finding cute second-hand clothes online HA HA HA HA HA HA HA...

Okie dokie, better send this and then bake the bread and then blog-hop a bit he he he...Have a REFRESHING weekend, everybody!!!!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Value of Closed Doors

The first time this concept was brought to me like a huge WHAM in front of my face was a few years ago. Recently a friend of mine is learning this concept herself. She found a closed door and she's trusting God and thanking Him for this closed door. She knows that God knows what's best for her, even though it's difficult to understand why.

Her email reminded me of the value of closed doors. How many times are we grateful for closed doors? Probably MUCH less often than our gratefulness towards open doors, since we rarely understand the value of closed doors. Even if we do come to that understanding, it usually comes much later.

I remember that after September 11th, there were many TV shows concerning that incident and I remember that some of them couldn't go to work on time due to some problems (a flat tyre, a sick child). That day they would have probably cursed the "problems" they had that made them unable to go to work on time, but I can imagine their gratefulness once they found out that it was actually a blessing in disguise.

I realize that sometimes we try SO hard to open doors ourselves and sometimes we even try to open one particular closed door over and over again with all our might without realizing that it might be best to leave it there and then.

But anyway, we live, we learn. Mistakes don't make us. We are not our mistakes. :-))))

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Happiness Revisited

The other day Shan wrote in a comment that he was wondering why I could manage to stay happy. He jokingly asked if that was partly because of my hubby. Well, first of all, it's IMPOSSIBLE for any person to make somebody else happy 24/7 every day of their lives. Secondly, there haven't been any bad situations in my life (yet, hopefully never HA HA)...and thus it's easier to stay happy. Thirdly, it's not that I never feel unhappy or sad or angry or disappointed.

It's okay to be sad. It's okay to feel sorrow. It's okay to feel bad every now and then. It's okay to feel angry. It's okay to feel disappointed. Hey, life isn't constant and nobody's perfect! We're only humans, not robots. You're bound to feel all those sort of emotions, especially when a tragedy strikes unexpectedly.

What's not okay is to wallow in those emotions and let yourself pity yourself or let yourself become so engulfed in emotions that turn you into a negative, bitter, angry person. I know it's easier said than done, but one can only try and I'm determined to try my best in doing so. :-))))

Of course it gets tough to stay happy when my PMS strikes or when I lack sleep (I get cranky when I lack sleep and I CAN be "bitchy" too), but let's share with one another some happiness tips, shall we? I know that you all know what I'm going to share already, but I'm going to write them down to remind myself of the tips to be happy he he he he...

You can write them down in your own posts or in my comment section of this post. Either way it's fine, but I LOVE the blogosphere since we can learn SO MUCH from one another and we can keep reminding one another about making a difference in this world. :-)))

OK, without further ado, here're some tips from me:

1. Accepting the things we can't change (AKA surrendering to God and believing that He knows best whatever comes our way even when we don't understand it),

2. Having the courage to change the things we can change (AKA we have to do our own part and not just surrender to God without doing anything and finding out what bad habits or mistakes we should change),

3. Remembering to count your blessings every single day AND soak them all in and NOT taking anything small for granted ('coz it'll make you feel like the world is singing with you),

4. Accepting yourself as you really are and being able to forgive others and yourself,

5. Being able to understand that God's grace is beyond our imperfections (AKA knowing our worth in God and believing that we CAN make a difference through Him that strengthens us AKA not giving up on ourselves and beating ourselves up),

6. Not taking life too seriously and not taking other people's words too seriously and NOT taking yourself too seriously,

7. Expect less and give more,

8. And knowing that each day you're in charge of your own actions and reactions towards your circumstances instead of letting circumstances determine your actions and reactions.

Well, that's all I can remember for now he he he...Come on now, people, share with me some of your wisdom! ;-D

The Promised Video Clips of the Boys Skating

Here are the promised video clips of the boys skating. Might not be too interesting for you, esp. since there's no sound ha ha ha ha ha...but here you can see more clearly what the place looks like. It's not too big, but enough for two boys to have fun there for hours he he he he he...Plus it's FREE to use HA HA HA HA HA...

I think in one of them you can see my sis-in-law trying to teach the boys to do stuff since she's good at skating. ;-D

An Award

Jay has shared this following award with me. THANKS SO MUCH, Jay!!! You're one in a million as well. I've never met anyone quite like you he he he...

Sorry for everybody who has tagged me or given me some awards if I have forgotten to put them up. I just can't keep up with everything anymore he he he...It's not that I don't appreciate what you share with me. It's just that for me it's more important to visit you and read your posts first and after that I don't seem to have enough time to do anything much. Oh well...I'm sure you'll understand. ;-D

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

It's All Good!!!

I have SO many things to tell, so let me see how much I can tell you in one post he he he he he...

1. Family Matters

I called my mother last Saturday since we didn't go to Kelujärvi then (we went to Kelujärvi only on Sunday). Saturday was my lazy day. I'm SO HAPPY to hear that my Dad's been MUCH better in controlling his temperament. I guess since now he's got the fishes to take care of and he's waiting for his first grandchild, so in a way he's got a purpose of life again. After all, he had told everybody that all he wanted in his old age was to play with his grandchild(children) HE HE HE HE...So he IS getting what he wants. I hope he lives healthily for many years to come. :-)))

I'm HAPPY to hear that 'coz that means that the situation at home has been wonderful, especially for my Mom who had been the object of my Dad's misdirected anger. And I'm glad to hear that Shen's pregnancy is going fine. :-)))

Saturday evening, I received an SMS from my sis-in-law, asking me if I'd be ready to go out with her to the bars. I was surprised to get that SMS, but I thought, "Why not?" The bars aren't my fave place to be with, but I know she'd talk to me in English, so it would be good to spend time with her. Arttu decided not to come. Funny thing was that as we were walking out to the bars at around 9.30 pm, my sis-in-law asked me if Arttu was mad that we went out alone without him he he he he...It seemed that she and Arttu's second brother thought that he'd be SO possessive of me HA HA HA HA HA HA...

We only got back home at around 1.30 am. I had fun with her and I got to ask her some female questions that Arttu can't possibly answer. For example: I asked her how much one had to pay IF one had to go on a C-section (side note: in Indo, if you have to go on a C-section, the VERY cheapest one in a cheap hospital would cost around €400). She assured me that that wasn't the case in Finland and that I wouldn't have to worry about that. She also told me that if I needed to ask questions about anything, she'd be ready to help out. I LOVE girls' night out!!! ;-D I LOVE being with considerate people. Well, who doesn't, right? HE HE HE HE HE HE...I just feel LUCKY that I get along well with Arttu's family members. ;-D

OK, time to go to my course. I'll continue this later. ;-D

2. Tickets to Indonesia!!!

Yesterday we bought the tickets to Indonesia already since we don't want to miss getting the great ticket prices HA HA HA HA HA...Of course the total cost is slightly more than we thought since we also paid for the travel and cancellation insurance...but it's all GOOD!!! The only thing I need to do now is to transfer the money from the government right away to the other account since we paid the tickets using that "untouchable" account he he he...

I hope our trip will go on without any glitch. We're leaving on Tuesday, October 4th and arriving in Jakarta on Wednesday, October 5th. We're going back home on Friday, October 24th and arriving in Rovaniemi on October 25th.

Arttu only gets a 3-week holiday, so we can't stay in Indonesia longer. Well, I suppose I can always stay there longer, but it's such a hassle to travel such a long trip alone. It's always nicer to go together he he he...After all, we've never really taken a long plane trip together (the first and only time we went on a plane together was and from Bali on our honeymoon back in 2006).

3. Watching The Boys Skating.

On Sunday Arttu and I picked up my sis-in-law who spent a night at her friend's house and we went to Kelujärvi. There I met her boys again and she asked me if I wanted to walk to the skating rink nearby (at a school there), so we did go there with the boys. The boys started skating and I took some videos, though I'm not sure about the quality of the videos since I couldn't zoom in on them as they were skating so fast he he he...

I did took some pictures, though. :-)))) I'll upload the videos in another post, OK?

First pic: A pic of the boys in action. The eldest boy is now almost as tall as Arttu, around 175 cm, even though he's only 15 years old.

Second pic: I managed to snap a pic while the eldest boy fell down HE HE HE...

And here's a group pic of us:

My sis-in-law told me that the eldest had been helping her in her work (she supplies groceries to a supermarket - it's a physical work), and since he's only 15, he gets the wage without having to pay any tax. He's SO happy to receive the money since he can buy more guitars (he's a guitar addict, whereas the younger one is a drummer).

My sis-in-law told me that the eldest had been eating SO MUCH that just feeding him cost a lot, especially on the train trip to Rovaniemi (we've got no train here, the last train stop on the north of Finland is Rovaniemi) he he he...No wonder he's grown so much!!!

Here's a view of someplace I'd been wanting to photograph, but I could never take a good snap of it from the car he he he...I took it while we were walking back to my in-laws' place.

4. Blooming Flowers.

The flowers from MC are still blooming except two of them. Two of them died already the other day, so I took them out. Here's another pic of the rest of the blooming flowers.

5. The Substitute Teacher.

The substitute teacher is someone that Arttu has known for a long time. She's got a 4-year-old granddaughter and yesterday she told us a funny story about her. The granddaughter wanted to play "princess" and she took her "magic wand" with her and waved it around her grandma's face and she said, "Sim salabim...turn into a princess."

What happened next? The little girl was confused since grandma stayed the same, so she said, "The magic wand doesn't work. It must be broken."

HUA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA...That story made us laugh so hard he he he...;-D

Okie dokie, I'll stop here and blog-hop tomorrow. Now I need to COOOOOKKKKKK!!!!!!