Monday, May 31, 2010

Lost and Found

Done with my training at the daycare. No tears, THANK GOD and THANK YOU all for your prayers! Well, it helped that the ones that were closer to me weren't there today - some of them have started their summer holidays already! I made chocolate pudding and vanilla sauce for the kids on Friday and today I made risoles for the grown-ups (I also brought some chili sauce for them to taste). Some of the kids and adults LOVED the chocolate pudding and sauce, but some kids weren't too fond of it hi hi...some of the adults also LOVED the risoles and chili sauce, but some thought the chili sauce was too hot for them (as what I had expected) ha ha ha ha ha...

The teacher then gave me a little gift (kuksa - click on the link to read it) and a LOVELY card made by the kids. Here are the pics: ---> (P.S. Kiitos means thank you)

What does this have to do with the title? Well, this morning I lost my spring pipo (woolen cap). I brought it just in case the wind got freezing cold. I put it inside my jacket's pocket and when I arrived at the daycare, I realized I had lost it. I must've dropped it somewhere along the way. I was determined to find it - knowing how it's like in Sodankylä - so I retraced my steps back on the way home and I FOUND IT!!! It was totally drenched 'coz hail came for a while today, but nobody had taken it HA HA HA HA HA HA...If this had happened in Indo, it would have DEFINITELY been taken by someone!!! I'm SO happy 'coz I don't need to buy another spring pipo 'coz it's my only one HE HE HE HE HE...

Anyway, here are some garden pics taken last Saturday.

First pic: The rose leaves are "up" from their winter sleep he he he...

And these two pics are the pics of the germinated seeds that I had planted there about two weeks ago. When will they get taller and taller, I wonder? I can't waitttt HA HA HA HA HA...

OK, now that I have plenty of time in my hand again, I can blog-hop more often, but before that I still have to learn how to plant more seeds and then I also have to do major spring cleaning - cleaning all the windows and stuff. :-D :-D :-D It's GREAT to have PLENTY of things to do and have the energy and health to do all of them! One thing that I must go back to, though - is keep practising Finnish (reading, writing, speaking, listening). Let's have a WONDERFUL summer then!!!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Crete Diary #3: Animal Video Clips

Yeah, I've been so lazy in uploading the rest of the video clips of our holiday in Crete he he he...but here are some of them. They're all about animalllllssss...

First video clip is about fish eating bread. While we were eating out in one of the seaside restos in Hersonissos area, some other people threw bread to the sea and these fish came quickly to get some he he he...

The link to the video clip if you want to see the HD version with a big screen:

The second one is about a duck. The duck came nearby to get some share of the bread, too! :-D

The link to the video clip:

The third video clip was taken in Aqua World (The Animal Rescue Centre) in Hersonissos, Crete. It's VERY short 'coz we ran out of space, but you can see it moving clearly. :-D

The link to the video clip:

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


My friend's son has been bullied by a classmate. They're only 4-years-old, can you believe it? The bully bites him, hits him, slaps him until my friend's son had nightmares. He was delirious in his sleep, saying the bully's name over and over again until he wet his bed, even though he had learnt not to wet his bed when he was 1-year-old already. He was also reluctant to go to preschool anymore 'coz of that.

When my friend confronted the teacher, the teacher said that they were trying to have the child go to a therapist to help him channel all his energies. When my friend confronted the bully's mother, the woman simply said, "Why don't you teach your son to defend himself?" friend didn't want to teach his son to hit him back or do something like that, so at first she told him to just shout so loudly when the bully tried to do something bad so that the teacher would pay attention to them. So the son did just that, but then the teacher reprimanded them both and they both got punishment. And since then the son didn't dare shout anymore. Another ugh, right?

Another mother in the school was once in the same car with the bully and his mother and for some reason, the bully's mother was angry, so she slapped the son and you know what the son did? He slapped her back. So it seems that this bully has been conditioned to think that hitting or slapping or biting others is OK 'coz he can even do it to his own mother.

Long story short, my friend asked the school so that next semester her son could be put in a different classroom (moving him to a new school would be tough 'coz it's gonna be expensive and who knows if there're other bullies out there either, right?). She's also told her son to stay the hell away from that bully as much as possible at school.

She's torn inside 'coz she feels that by telling his son to do that, it may send a signal to the son that he's weak and he doesn't have any strength. However, I think it's a smart move. I mean, let's face it: in real life we can't get along 'coz we'll bound to meet people with whom our relations feel like oil and water, right? If we can avoid spending time with people that "rub us the wrong way", isn't that wise to do so?

I welcome any POV from anyone, though...I wanna know what you think. If your child's bullied, what would you do?

P.S. On a brighter note, today I got LOADS and LOADS of kisses from two kids HE HE HE HE HE HE HE...My, that felt SO GOOD! :-D

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

3BT: Random Days

1. The roses aren't dead! I could see some green buds since yesterday. I cut a few dead branches (that had dead leaves on them) but left all the others alone. We'll see how they grow! Blur Ting, THANKS for your advice!

2. MIL bought some raffle tickets for us all (herself, her hubby, me, R2, R2's elder brother and girlfriend) on some occasion and R2 and I won something HA HA HA HA...Coffee and a set of salt-and-pepper shakers.

3. I saw a hare outside MIL's place - too bad it was too swift for me to take a pic of it, but still it made my day! :-D

4. Heaters!!! After 7 days of "early summer" (temp. 20-28'C), spring days came back with COLD mornings and showers that made us have to turn on our heaters again. Ah...thank GOD for heaters!

5. A boy said to a girl (they are VERY good playmates at the daycare): "You're my girlfriend" and they told us about it HI HI HI HI...SO cute!!!

6. Seeing buds growing in the garden patch.

7. When on the way home from MIL's house, we stopped by next to a vast field 'coz there were swans fighting. I could only take these pics from afar (too late to capture the heated battle between two swans - they were flapping their wings while standing upright on the grass):

First pic: Click to view a bigger version. Notice the swan flying away on the right side of the pic and yes, those are reindeer at the back! These two swans who stayed on the ground managed to win (I suppose). There were at least two contenders (unfortunately I only captured one of them in the pic) 'coz it all happened too quickly.

Another one - sorry for the lack of sharpness - it was hard to get a good pic when I had to be quick and I couldn't come closer - at least the zoom helped 'coz with my old camera, I wouldn't have been able to get this pic.

8. I'm ordering a used Wii CD and I'm going to order another one 'coz we need more game varieties for our exercise day on Wednesdays (and 'coz I've found a cheap one that I think might be suitable for us). :-D

9. Having a garden to work on (a pic of us raking the dead leaves last Saturday):

10. Receiving a HUGE sack of soil, compost, and 6 pansy plants from my MIL.

11. I accidentally cut R2's hair the wrong way - but he wasn't angry. Instead he just told me to cut it all off he he he...THANK GOD for a patient hubby!

12. Playing as a horse (a standing one) and having two kids ride on my back - one at a time, of course. It was FUN and they didn't want me to stop HA HA HA...oh dear...

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Gardening Question + Buds!!!

BUDS! I see BUDS in my garden patch!!! Here are some pics:

YIIIPPPPPPPPPPPIIIIIIIIIEEE!!! Hope they grow! I haven't seen too many buds in the front row, though. I hope they'll come later. :-D

Now I have a question to those plant lovers. What do I have to do with this patch of dead roses??? Any advice would be MUCH appreciated, THANK YOU!!!

Should I just water it, pull everything out, or what?

The other day I also took some photos of Kitinen River area (it's very near from the daycare) - LOVE that spot he he he he...

Today we've been raking dead leaves from the yard for hours. Now we're tired and we're going to sauna later. WOOOHHHHHHOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! I'll blog-hop some more later on. ;-D

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Cabin Trip Again #2 + Gardening Effort

Daylight time in Sodankylä: 20 hours and 50 minutes. The sun rises at 2.48 am and sets at 23.38.

Haven't had enough time to do things, 'coz yesterday was our Wii + sauna night and the other day I was busy "TRYING" to plant flowers in my garden. Fingers crossed that they'll grow and won't die 'coz of me he he he...

One thing I realized when I tried to plant the seeds was that it was SO hard to get rid of the old plants 'coz some of the roots were embedded so deep inside. It reminded me of how hard it is to break old habits - when the roots are already SO deep and wide and spreading, it's just not easy to pull out. Oh, and I just realized that gardening or doing gardening clean-up could be so relaxing. Amazing! ;-D

Anyway, here are some more pics from the cabin trip:

1st pic: Woke up on Saturday at around 10 am and took this pic:

A pic of the cabin from the back end:

We went a GREAT deal of time outside on my in-laws' swing set...enjoying the breeze and the sun he he...R2 went to sauna (again), but I didn't 'coz it was just WAY too hot (if there was no breeze, it felt like 30'C)!

Side note: After HOT HOT days since last Friday (daytime temperature is around 20-28'C), the weather report states that it's gonna be WAY cooler now - during the weekend the temperature will drop to below 10'C and it's gonna rain, so better enjoy the sun while it lasts!!!) ;-D

On the left patch I've planted two different packs of seeds - one was only a specific type of flower, whereas the other one was a mixture of flower seeds. Let's see what they are when they growwwww - I HOPE they grow well!

My MIL gave me these flowers to move to the garden patch, so we'll see how well they flourish. Grow, little ones, GROWWWWWWWWW!!!!

OK, now time for me to continue reading the Finnish novel I've neglected since last week he he he...I'll blog-hop later this weekend.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Cabin Trip Again #1

Haven't had time blogging nor blog-hopping due many things to do, so little time ha ha ha...and we had an unexpected cabin trip. At first we weren't going there 'coz R2's brother and girlfriend were supposed to go there, but then they cancelled it and I asked R2 if we could go. I wasn't sure we could go 'coz he said he probably had some gathering with his gaming buddies, but turned out we made it after all. WHOOOPPPPPPPEEEEE!!!

What's more, the weather has been SUMMERY, but the mosquitoes aren't out yet, so it was just PERFECT!!!!

When we drove to my in-laws' at around 5 pm on Friday, it was around 22'C and sunny. We played cards there and we walked to the cabin only at around 10 pm. Here are some pics taken from the area:

Walking towards the cabin:

Yeah, still some snow and ice around the lake area - that was why we had to wear boots to go there 'coz the ground was still wet and so soft in some parts (couldn't go there by car):

LOVE the clouds!!!

Zooming in on the clouds:

Me with the lake - the other side of the lake anyway:

Zooming in on the above pic:

Another one:

We warmed up sauna, ate some hamburgers and sausage, and finally went to bed at around 1 am. By the time we woke up, the sun was shining so brightly already and it was SO HOT!!! The temperature was around 27-28'C. I'll post more pics in a different blog post. Now I need to blog hop!!!

Monday, May 10, 2010

3BT: Random Days

1. Celebrating Mother's Day without feeling "empty-armed" or "sad" 'coz I'm not a mother yet. Instead, I'm GLAD I've found another mother (my MIL) to whom I can give Mother's Day's gifts: flowers, food, and dessert. Being able to give is a blessing.

2. A few days after I cut my own hair, one colleague at the daycare said to us who were having a break near the kitchen, "That's the kind of haircut I want for my own hair. Just like Amelia's hair! I want my hair to be layered like that." I must've done something right! :-D

3. Buying the thinning scissors to cut my own hair has been a WONDERFUL investment (and it cost only about 10 Singapore dollars) HUA HA HA HA HA HA HA...

4. Taking a child on a ride on my back and hearing him giggle/laugh when I move around he he...

5. That same child ran towards me and gave me a hug as I said goodbye to everybody.

6. Playing catch-me-if-you-can with hubby HA HA HA HA HA...

7. I've been rather diligent in playing Wii again these days in order to lose some weight 'coz a few weeks before our Crete trip, once I weighed myself and was shocked to find that the scales showed 49 kgs!!! (Remember that I'm only 145 cm TALL!)

8. Yesterday I weighed myself on my Wii board and it said my weight was 47.2 kgs. Either our regular scales weren't working properly or that I've managed to lose some weight - I don't care...the main thing is that it was ENCOURAGING to see that I'm NOT that heavy anymore...only about 4 kgs left to go!!!!!!!!! ;-D

9. Going downhill without having to pedal nor use my brake when going to and from work...WHOOOPEEEEEEEEEEE I'm going down FAAAAAAAASSSSSSSSTTTTTT!!!

10. Comfortable pathways for pedestrians and bikers where people feel safe to walk or ride bikes. No street sellers blocking the way.

11. I begged hubby to do something for me and he did it (though I didn't think he would HUA HA HA HA HA HA...) ---> hint: it's NOT about buying anything!

12. Having told my Mom that we may not go back to Indo this year 'coz R2's holiday coincides with Ramadhan and I don't want to be in Bandung around that time 'coz it's going to be CHAOS!!! (read: lots of people shopping and traffic jam everywhere before the actual holiday) And my Mom said that it's OK - she just wants us to be healthy and well. THANK GOD for an understanding Mom that doesn't make me feel guilty.

13. Despite the closed doors that made me somewhat frustrated the other day, now I actually look forward to the end of the training and enjoying summer while feeling hopeful - no matter what happens, God's grace is abundant.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Theory of Relativity

When I lived in Bandung, due to the traffic jam and the fact that a kind of public transit (that I used frequently 'coz I can't drive a car nor motorcycle and it's not safe to ride a bike in the streets) called "angkot" could stop anywhere for a long period of time whenever the driver wanted to get more passengers, it usually took a long time to get from one place to another, even though Bandung is far smaller than Jakarta. Especially over the past few years ever since they built a highway from Jakarta to Bandung, many people who work and live in Jakarta come to Bandung to relax during the weekend - thus causing more traffic problem.

So, when I still lived in Bandung, it was pretty normal to travel by "angkot" for 30-60 minutes just to reach one destination (even if this travel time should be only half or one third or one fourth of the actual travel time were the roads clear of traffic and if the "angkot" didn't stop too often along the way).

Now that I've lived in Sodankylä for a little over 3 years and we have always lived near downtown changes everything. Now a 30-60 minute ride by car seems like such a hassle, 'coz over here there's no traffic at all and I'm used to getting to a place in a short amount of time.

So when we went to Crete, we were in a very lazy mode. We could have visited many more places by bus, but we just didn't feel like "wasting" so much time on a bus. And I've just realized one more Crete there are so many mountains all around the place, whereas Sodankylä is far more flatter. Yesterday when we drove back home from my in-laws' place, I felt something that I felt when I first moved here: the VAST stretch of the sky (esp. when we passed by two HUGE fields on both sides of the road) - it almost feels like a blanket surrounds us. Funny how our perspective changes once we've been to different places.

Anyway, to cap this post, let me show you how much snow there's still left around my in-laws' place.

The ground in some parts are still SO wet:

Just posing he he he...the temp. was around 6-10'C yesterday and the sun was shining, but it was SO windy and the wind was cold.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Crete Diary #3: Agios Nikolaus

During the first week in Crete, we didn't visit this place, but after we got stuck there for another week, we decided to go there. Took the bus from Hersonissos to Agios Nikolaus (it took about 45-50 minutes) and it cost about 3.70 Euros per person if I remember correctly.

Here's the view of the lake in Agios Nikolaus. The water isn't as clear as the sea water around the area, but we could see LOTS and LOTS of fish down there (though it was hard to take clear pics of them due to the unclear water). While walking downstairs towards the lake, I noticed a couple smooching each other behind the trees (you couldn't see them from the lake area). I guess it was a good spot for couples to sit and enjoy the scenery.

This video doesn't do any justice to the beauty of the place. If you're planning to visit Crete, I HIGHLY recommend visiting this place. ;-D There are plenty of restaurants and cafes surrounding the lake.

Here's an unclear pic of the lake just to show you how many fish there were down there (there were also bigger fish):

This is the sea area in Agios Nikolaus (about 1.5 km away from the lake):

Here are some pics we took around Agios Nikolaus area (yeah, this area is filled with LOTS and LOTS of stairs - when we were about to go back to the bus station, we got lost and we were SO tired 'coz we had to go up and down the stairs to find our ways ha ha ha...):

Here's a view of one of the shopping streets in Agios Nikolaus:

Me and a statue...dunno who it was, though. That day the rain poured down for hours until almost midday, so that was why the sky was a bit grey and we were wearing clothes like that ha ha ha ha...the wind could be pretty cold still.

Okie dokie, now I need to prepare some food for tomorrow 'coz I've promised my MIL that I'd cook for everybody so that she can rest. After all, Sunday is Mother's Day, but we'll be celebrating it tomorrow hi hi hi...I'll blog-hop later!

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Closed Doors

Just wanna share about my training again. This month is my last month at the daycare. A week ago I asked the boss if I could possibly continue there and she said yes. But I had to contact the employment office 'coz they're the ones who make the final call when it comes to this type of training. Turned out that a new law prohibited me from doing this type of training 'coz I had collected 12 months of training in different places. I was so bummed when I heard about this, 'coz I was already thinking that I could spend 4 more months with the kids instead of just one more month with them.

Then I started to think about going back to school first - the kind of vocational school where I could study for about 3 years that would enable me to become a daycare worker once I graduated. The first batch of application was last month and I was thinking that there might be another one in July if they needed more students to apply. So I contacted them to find out about this. Turned out that they had too many applicants already this year, so they advised me to try to apply for next year instead.

So next month I'll be unemployed again and I won't even be able to try to find another training place 'coz I've used up my "quota". The only thing I can do is either try to run my own business or find a suitable course organized by the employment office. I can of course try to wait for other opportunities to apply to the vocational school, but I'm not too sure about studying other subjects.

So I've had slammed doors twice this month and I'm just trying to believe that God has the best plans for me and that any door is closed, it's for my own benefit (even if I don't understand it). When I first heard about the fact that I couldn't continue the training there, I was so sad that I wanted to cry, but right now my defensive mode is on, so I'll be fine. I just hope that I won't cry on my last day there when I have to say goodbye to the kids, 'coz then they'll be confused. So if you're the praying type, pray so that I will NOT cry that day, please!!!

Other than that, life's been GREAT...spring has come and the weather's been rather cold this week, but I can see some green grass already in some parts of the village...

P.S. Oh, and although most of the time the kids at the daycare are pretty good, they still need to be reminded over and over again to behave, especially when they're in "challenging mode" or when they're in a bad mood or when they're cranky.

Some of them have grown closer to me, but my problem is that they still don't obey my words as well as they do the teacher or the senior workers there. Probably 'coz they know I'm only a temp worker or for some reason I think they tend to think of me more as a playmate instead of an adult he he he...but nevertheless I've learnt SO MUCH by doing the training here and I've learnt so many more interesting Finnish terms/words that I wouldn't have been able to learn on my own ('coz I wouldn't have known that they existed!).

So we'll see what door will be open for me in the future...:-)))

Sunday, May 02, 2010

3BT: Random Days

1. Being back home, doing our usual routine again after a nice holiday.

2. Getting free accommodation for a week after we got news that all the flights to Finland were cancelled and we could also move all the flights to another date without any problem.

3. Hubby for helping me with the dishes and laundry.

4. One kid jumped into my arms (actually climbed into my arms) and kissed my cheek a few times and on a different day, he licked both my cheeks!!! :-D And we had fun when I twirled around a few times with him in my arms. :-D

5. Another one wanted to jump into my arms, too, so I let her. :-D What a joy to be able to hold a child in your arms! :-D

6. Reading a book for one kid yesterday and we had small chit-chats in between.

7. Being able to go to my in-laws again and spend a nice day with them.

8. Seeing the kids in their different costumes yesterday on Labour Day at the daycare. They were all SO CUTE!!! :-D Some had wings, some dressed like princesses, etc.

9. Finding cheap socks on a discount in Crete, so I bought 5 pairs 'coz I KNOW I'm going to use them all here in Finland. Each pair cost only 1 Euro and they are cute! :-D

10. Buying three novels during my holiday (two in English, one in Finnish) HUA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA...

11. Wii game night with bro-in-law and girlfriend yesterday. We played golf for a few hours and only went to sleep at around 3.30 am HA HA HA HA HA...

12. Wii eve with hubby on Thursday and then having a sauna afterwards - we laughed a lot while gaming together. We hope to continue this habit 'coz we both want to lose some weight.

13. The kids seemed to be happy playing with the sea shells I bought from Crete as a souvenir for them. :-D

14. Found yam in the supermarket and now I'm trying out my Mom's dessert recipe using yam. Hope it turns out well! ;-D