Thursday, December 31, 2009

Auld Lang Syne!

Here is my quick glance over year 2009... I remember it started badly with a chronic eczema all over my body, which resulted in many different things happening after that:
  • First is me being so depressed and messed up.
  • Second is where a decision to take a 3-months suspension on my study was made, giving me 3 months to be at home with my family (without Lan there though *sob*)
  • Third is where I was so discouraged that I almost called it a quit on my study!

What a year, huh?! It was a year full of process for Lan and I.
Our marriage was much better than the first year (Thank God for that!). I got to learn being much more patient than I used to be, he got to learn about the 'reality' of marriage! LOL!
We both got to learn to cling to The Lord more each day of our lives that He gives the best (and always the best) for our family. He blessed us abundantly this year; Lan got his paper accepted to a conference and published in a journal, he also got to go to Montreal, Canada. Hallelujah!
As for me, after getting back on my feet, things gradually get better! This semester I've found a calculus, which boosted my confidence and both of my supervisors'. And, I am in the process of proofing and writing it up to become a paper, which hopefully will be accepted by a conference next year. Amen!

And no matter the ups and the downs, the only thing that sticks to my mind and my heart is that The Lord has been good and is always good to us! I see His hands guiding and protecting us continually day upon day of our journey. He never leaves us.
So for the new year that is arriving upon us in 6 more hours, my faith is thicker than it's ever been that He will take us in another WONDERFUL journey! There are many wishes and desires, let them be only spoken aloud in Lan's and my heart (for The Lord, He hears the unspoken), may The Lord grants according to His will! Amen!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas is NOT over!

How was your Christmas day, friends? Some people are actually very relieved that Christmas is over together with all the festivities and the business that went along with it... Well, for me, Christmas is not over, Christmas is everyday, all year long... because, every day I need Jesus, every day I live for Him, through Him and because of Him. :)

Last week had been a relaxing one. We've stayed at home and I liked it. Resting and taking my mind off from study for a bit. I did get quite sick for a few days, though... I got an ulcer, which painfully locate itself on my jaw! I had migraines for 3 days non-stop, swelling on my left cheek and difficulties to eat. It was kind of having a little diet! I had to eat porridge, simply because I couldn't chew! Phew... Thank God, with a huge amount of orange juice, fruit and veggies, I am much better now.

The weekend was tiring, because we had a fight. Nope, it's never good when we fight... Exhausting mentally and physically for both of us. Being both 'highly' educated makes us both pig-headed! Plus, the differences in principles, family background, origins, make things even harder. However, life goes on because of FORGIVENESS! Yep, that's how powerful forgiveness is! No matter how hurt and painful the fight caused, forgiveness heals. Thank The Lord for that!
Sometimes, in these 2 years, we found ourselves like water and oil, questioning 'why' on our marriage. But, really, it's just an illusion, which during angry moments, overrides the truth. The truth that The Lord chose the two of us to be together for a purpose and that He never fails. And I hang on to that truth, always.

And, today, though the University is still officially closed, here we are both sitting on our chairs to do our work... which, instead of doing that, I am blogging bwahahaha...

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

I am UTTERLY happy today!

I am so so HAPPY today! I feel so blessed both by The Lord and Lan today! :)
It has been a day full of surprises and blessings.
This Christmas, I knew I got my very first book of 40 scrap-layouts printed out from Lan. However, somehow, the book, which had been sent a month ago, has not yet arrived at our door post! I am quite upset about it as I was so excited and looking forward to getting it in my hands very much. I am so glad though, that the printing company has been very generous by reprinting and re-sending it again.
My husband, with his so kind heart, saw me upset and gave me nice surprises today. On the way to Tesco to buy grocery today, he picked up some treats for me. I got some nice orange juice, some all-butter shortbread cookies and this new baby that I've been wanting!

1TB hard drive, isn't that sweet? With all the scrapping that I do, my laptop was getting crowded. So, I've got this new baby sitting on my table now :) Thanks, Honey!

Then... you know what? The Lord answered my prayer of wanting WHITE Christmas! It's been snowing on and off these few days and rain always came too soon to wash it away... BUT, tonight, yes, TONIGHT, I suddenly had the urge to peak out of the window... it was heavily snowing! So... I asked Lan whether we can go and play outside to take some photos. It was FUN! We played outside so happy... And we took lots of photos, which are waiting for me to scrap with!

Well, I am here, simply because we decided to return home because our camera was getting quite wet :D Still... I am SO HAPPY today! :)

Thank you, LORD!

Ps. Do you like my blog's new look? :D

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Welcoming 2010

Gosh, this year has flown so fast... I cannot believe it is almost the beginning of a new year already! Time rotated around me like a breeze.
To think back on this year, I can only smile and smile... It was a year of God's provision in our little family. I've seen many unbelievable things happened in our lives and for all of those, I can only give thanks to The Lord. He's been more than just GOOD.
I am so thankful that I was shown how The Lord takes care of my family and that His Hands never fail to sustain us. The way He teaches Lan by Himself (sometimes I am amazed by the words that Lan says by himself!), the Grace that brings our family even closer together, the holiday wishes that came true (Dubai!) and many little but so-sweet things that came into my life. And above all, I am grateful for his guidance on my study; how I once felt like quitting and He encouraged me through my beloved ones. How He provides, oh how He provides... not just financially but in everything He provides; the joy, the happiness, the peace. Even to me it's a miracle that a couple of PhD students, who live on scholarships can have an awesome holiday in Dubai! Only The Lord can do that for us. :)

I look forward to 2010. I am sure it is a year full of goodness from The Lord! Even more than what 2009 had held for us. Many things we have plans for 2010, we surrender them all to The Lord. If He permits... they shall be done and be even more awesome that our own plans! Amen.
I am excited for the new year... I pray that Lan's thesis will finish soon and for him to do an EXCELLENT job on it, then impressing his examiners further during his viva and I am anticipating for his graduation in July. I will be a VERY VERY proud wife of him! I have faith that he DOES an exceptional job on it. I know he does.
And, soon after that, the job that HAS been waiting for him will arrive at his doorstep. And, by then, we plan for our junior(s). :)
As for our 2010 holiday agenda, we have Europe and Beijing in mind. So we will pray and pray hard for miracles.
Oh, a target for myself is to finish PhD by this time of NEXT year. Yep, I am aiming myself to finish my PhD in 3 years and NO more. So, that goes by telling myself to WORK HARD!
Last but not least, I hope that we go to Church more often next year than this year. Sorry, Lord, I know we've been stupidly lazy on this task...

Oh well, before I start blabbering around, let's put it to a stop for now ;) And here is our wish for all of you:
Have a blessed Christmas

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Renungan: Yang Tidak Bisa Diucapkan Ayah

This story is not mine, but I am glad my best friend shared it with me... It brought tears to my eyes when I read this. It's so so true. (Sorry, to my non-Indonesian friends, that this is written in Indonesian)

Biasanya, bagi seorang anak perempuan yang sudah dewasa, yang sedang bekerja jadi perantauan, yang ikut suaminya merantau di luar kota atau luar negeri, yang sedang bersekolah atau kuliah jauh dari kedua orang tuanya...
Akan sering merasa kangen sekali dengan Mamanya... Lalu bagaimana dengan Papa?
Mungkin karena Mama lebih sering menelepon untuk menanyakan keadaanmu setiap hari, tapi tahukah kamu, jika ternyata Papa-lah yang mengingatkan Mama untuk menelponmu?

Mungkin dulu sewaktu kamu kecil, Mama-lah yang lebih sering mengajakmu bercerita atau berdongeng, tapi tahukah kamu, bahwa sepulang Papa bekerja dan dengan wajah lelah Papa selalu menanyakan pada Mama tentang kabarmu dan apa yang kau lakukan seharian?

Pada saat dirimu masih seorang anak perempuan kecil...
Papa biasanya mengajari putri kecilnya naik sepeda. Dan setelah Papa mengganggapmu bisa, Papa akan melepaskan roda bantu disepedamu...
Kemudian Mama bilang : "Jangan dulu Papa, jangan dilepas dulu roda bantunya", Mama takut putri manisnya terjatuh lalu terluka...
Tapi sadarkah kamu? Bahwa Papa dengan yakin akan membiarkanmu, menatapmu, dan menjagamu mengayuh sepeda dengan seksama karena dia tahu putri kecilnya PASTI BISA.

Pada saat kamu menangis merengek meminta boneka atau mainan yang baru, Mama menatapmu iba. Tetapi Papa akan mengatakan dengan tegas: "Boleh, kita beli nanti, tapi tidak sekarang."
Tahukah kamu, Papa melakukan itu karena Papa tidak ingin kamu menjadi anak yang manja dengan semua tuntutan yang selalu dapat dipenuhi?

Saat kamu sakit pilek, Papa yang terlalu khawatir sampai kadang sedikit membentak dengan berkata: "Sudah dibilang! kamu jangan minum air dingin!".
Berbeda dengan Mama yang memperhatikan dan menasihatimu dengan lembut. Ketahuilah, saat itu Papa benar-benar mengkhawatirkan keadaanmu.

Ketika kamu sudah beranjak remaja...
Kamu mulai menuntut pada Papa untuk dapat izin keluar malam, dan Papa bersikap tegas dan mengatakan: "Tidak boleh!".
Tahukah kamu, bahwa Papa melakukan itu untuk menjagamu? Karena bagi Papa, kamu adalah sesuatu yang sangat - sangat luar biasa berharga...
Setelah itu kamu marah pada Papa, dan masuk ke kamar sambil membanting pintu. Dan yang datang mengetok pintu dan membujukmu agar tidak marah adalah Mama.
Tahukah kamu, bahwa saat itu Papa memejamkan matanya dan menahan gejolak dalam batinnya, bahwa Papa sangat ingin mengikuti keinginanmu, Tapi lagi-lagi dia HARUS menjagamu?

Ketika saat seorang cowok mulai sering menelponmu, atau bahkan datang kerumah untuk menemuimu, Papa akan memasang wajah paling cool sedunia... :')
Papa sesekali menguping atau mengintip saat kamu sedang ngobrol berdua diruang tamu.
Sadarkah kamu, kalau hati Papa merasa cemburu?
Saat kamu mulai lebih dipercaya, dan Papa melonggarkan sedikit peraturan untuk keluar rumah untukmu, kamu akan memaksa untuk melanggar jam malamnya. Maka yang dilakukan Papa adalah duduk di ruang tamu, dan menunggumu pulang dengan hati yang sangat khawatir...
Dan setelah perasaan khawatir itu berlarut - larut... Ketika melihat putri kecilnya pulang larut malam hati Papa akan mengeras dan Papa memarahimu.
Sadarkah kamu, bahwa ini karena hal yang di sangat ditakuti Papa akan segera datang? Bahwa putri kecilnya akan segera pergi meninggalkan Papa...

Setelah lulus SMA, Papa akan sedikit memaksamu untuk menjadi seorang Dokter atau Insinyur.
Ketahuilah, bahwa seluruh paksaan yang dilakukan Papa itu semata-mata hanya karena memikirkan masa depanmu nanti...
Tapi toh Papa tetap tersenyum dan mendukungmu saat pilihanmu tidak sesuai dengan keinginan Papa

Ketika kamu menjadi gadis dewasa dan kamu harus pergi kuliah dikota lain...
Papa harus melepasmu di bandara.
Tahukah kamu bahwa badan Papa terasa kaku untuk memelukmu?
Papa hanya tersenyum sambil memberi nasehat ini - itu, dan menyuruhmu untuk berhati-hati. Padahal Papa ingin sekali menangis seperti Mama dan memelukmu erat-erat.
Yang Papa lakukan hanya menghapus sedikit air mata di sudut matanya, dan menepuk pundakmu berkata "Jaga dirimu baik-baik ya sayang".
Papa melakukan itu semua agar kamu KUAT... kuat untuk pergi dan menjadi dewasa.

Disaat kamu butuh uang untuk membiayai uang semester dan kehidupanmu, orang pertama yang mengerutkan kening adalah Papa. Papa pasti berusaha keras mencari jalan agar anaknya bisa merasa sama dengan teman-temannya yang lain.
Ketika permintaanmu bukan lagi sekedar meminta boneka baru, dan Papa tahu ia tidak bisa memberikan yang kamu inginkan... Kata-kata yang keluar dari mulut Papa adalah : "Tidak... Tidak bisa!" Padahal dalam batin Papa, Ia sangat ingin mengatakan: "Iya sayang, nanti Papa belikan untukmu".
Tahukah kamu bahwa pada saat itu Papa merasa gagal membuat anaknya tersenyum?

Saatnya kamu diwisuda sebagai seorang sarjana, Papa adalah orang pertama yang berdiri dan memberi tepuk tangan untukmu. Papa akan tersenyum dengan bangga dan puas melihat putri kecilnya yang tidak manja berhasil tumbuh dewasa, dan telah menjadi seseorang.
Sampai saat seorang teman Lelakimu datang ke rumah dan meminta izin pada Papa untuk mengambilmu darinya. Papa akan sangat berhati-hati memberikan izin.
Karena Papa tahu... Bahwa lelaki itulah yang akan menggantikan posisinya nanti. Dan akhirnya, saat Papa melihatmu duduk di Panggung Pelaminan bersama seseorang Lelaki yang dianggapnya pantas menggantikannya, Papa pun tersenyum bahagia...
Apakah kamu mengetahui, di hari yang bahagia itu Papa pergi ke belakang panggung sebentar, dan menangis? Papa menangis karena papa sangat berbahagia, kemudian Papa berdoa...

Dalam lirih doanya kepada Tuhan, Papa berkata: "Ya Tuhan tugasku telah selesai dengan baik... Putri kecilku yang lucu dan kucintai telah menjadi wanita yang cantik. Bahagiakanlah ia bersama suaminya..." Setelah itu Papa hanya bisa menunggu kedatanganmu bersama cucu-cucunya yang sesekali datang untuk menjenguk.
Dengan rambut yang telah dan semakin memutih dan badan serta lengan yang tak lagi kuat untuk menjagamu dari bahaya...
Papa telah menyelesaikan tugasnya...
Papa, Ayah, Bapak, atau Abah kita...
Adalah sosok yang harus selalu terlihat kuat...
Bahkan ketika dia tidak kuat untuk tidak menangis...
Dia harus terlihat tegas bahkan saat dia ingin memanjakanmu. .
Dan dia adalah yang orang pertama yang selalu yakin bahwa "KAMU BISA" dalam segala hal..

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Noel...

I've loved listening to the classic Christmas songs for as long as I can remember. And this season, I love listening to the radio, when they play all those Christmas songs. And this year, one song that particularly caught my attention is "The First Noel".
I love the lyric, how the song tells the story of the star of the east, the birth of our Lord, Jesus... how the song tells the TRUE meaning of Christmas...
These days, Christmas is all about presents, trees, and ornaments to some people. But really, it is all about Jesus. It's a celebration of how much He loves us.

Let us remember the First Noel...

The First Noel, the Angels did say
Was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay
In fields where they lay keeping their sheep
On a cold winter's night that was so deep.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel!

They looked up and saw a star
Shining in the East beyond them far
And to the earth it gave great light
And so it continued both day and night.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel!

And by the light of that same star
Three Wise men came from country far
To seek for a King was their intent
And to follow the star wherever it went.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel!

This star drew nigh to the northwest
O'er Bethlehem it took its rest
And there it did both Pause and stay
Right o'er the place where Jesus lay.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel!

Then entered in those Wise men three
Full reverently upon their knee
And offered there in His presence
Their gold and myrrh and frankincense.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel!

Then let us all with one accord
Sing praises to our heavenly Lord
That hath made Heaven and earth of nought
And with his blood mankind has bought.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel!

Lyric was taken from here.
To listen to the song, go here, it's my favourite :)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Baking Cookies Paper + Cookie exchange - Digi Style!

Today, Michelle has released an essential paper pack, called "baking cookies"! Isn't that a cute name? And aren't those papers lovely? They are so versatile that they are a must-have!

They are on sale for $3.00, but, as usual, it's 20% off until Friday! So go and grab it fast! Here is a double-page LO that I've made using one of the papers in baking cookies.

Are you still tuning in? Well, if you do, you won't regret it because we have some goodies for you! Michelle and us the CT have prepared a little fun blog train for all of you to celebrate the upcoming Christmas! It's a Cookie-recipes blog train! We hope that by sharing all these tasty cookie and treat recipes, we help you to cook up some great treats for this holiday season!

Just follow this blog train to collect lots of tasty cookie and treat recipes - HAPPY HOLIDAYS from the DESIGNS BY MICHELLE BATTON CREATIVE TEAM! (Click the images or the download link below to get the recipes!)



DOWNLOAD #1




DOWNLOAD #2


And here are the rest of the stops on the blog train. Please remember we are all in different time zones, so if someone's recipes aren't up yet, please try back again later!

1. Michelle http://www.mellowbutterfly.com
2. Cindy http://scribler.blogspot.com/
3. Jane http://4shadesofbluedesigns.blogspot.com/
4. Jamie http://www.jamie-cupcake.blogspot.com
5. Sherly http://nyempluk.blogspot.com/ <--YOU ARE HERE
6. Tara http://geekchicscraps.blogspot.com/
7. Beth http://sweetmesquite.blogspot.com/

Okie dokie! I hope you enjoy our little treats for you! Happy holidays! :)

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Over-tired!

This week I was SO busy. I mean, really... somehow there were so many things to do; tutorials and teaching, a friend's party, and many other things! I feel so tired and exhausted!
Thank God I managed to do the things I am supposed to do, including baking the cupcakes I promised I'd do for the friend's party. I am glad everyone liked them (or so they said!).
We were glad to come to our friend's (Dirk) farewell party. He's one of our colleagues in the Computer Science Department and he's leaving for Madrid in a few weeks for a new job. We wish him all the best and hope that he'll enjoy the sunshiny Madrid, which is much better than the gloomy Liverpool! LOL! We saw some of our old friends there too. It was nice to have a chat with them and catch up with each other's news. :)

Oh well... a new week is starting tomorrow... Gonna be busy again, but I hope I can make more progress for my research than this week. >.< Time is ticking!
I pray that The Lord will strengthen me to do all that I have to do. Amen!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Counting days to Christmas: day 2

First of all, I am sooooo happy that Amy Stoffel has asked me to return to her Creative Team permanently last week! What an honor! I am absolutely delighted to be in her very very FUN team and she has awesome designs too! So, I say I am totally proud to be creating for her :)

Well, this month, Scrap Orchard has a HUGE celebration to welcome Christmas. Each day of this month there will be one designer's shop that will be 50% off! Yep, you read it right, 50% off! And guess what? Today, it's Amy's Shop! So, go and grab a bargain! This only happens ONCE a year and for ONE DAY ONLY, so you would not want to let it pass :D



That's NOT all! Today, she released 2 adorable and stunning kits: Angel Song and I'll be home for Christmas. Here are the previews and the layouts I made for these:
Angel Song




I'll be home for Christmas



Ps. All the images are linked to the shop/the corresponding kits.
Lovely kits, aren't they? Well, go and grab your bargain of Amy's goodies now! :)

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Christmas-y

Out of seasons of the year, I love this season of Christmas so much. The festivities, the celebration of Christ, the beautiful twinkling and sparkling lights in the shops and each corner of everywhere, they all warm my heart during the icy cold cruel winter.
It's like, although some people don't really take Christmas as a celebration of Christ's birth, they still celebrate Christmas. They gather together and have Christmas dinner; family, love, warmth and happiness is all around Christmas. I love that.

And although we don't have a Christmas tree up in our home, we will be celebrating Christmas with a proper English Christmas dinner this year, upon Lan's request. So, there will be roasted chicken, gravy and roasted vegetables! Mmmm... deliciously mouth-watering! The last time I cooked proper Christmas dinner was in 2005, when I went to Brighton the first time to visit my brother. Time flies...
We're not having Christmas holiday anywhere except at our own little home this year... simply because Lan is busy with his thesis and I have to prepare a paper to be submitted on 22nd January. So, we will be going to office everyday, probably.

Anyhow, I am grateful that lately it's been rarely raining here in Liverpool. A dry winter is much better, although it is still very very COLD! It's been icy and chilly, so I've been wearing a lot! Never ever go out without mittens, hat, scarf, water-proof coat and boots. Otherwise... brrrrr... >.<

Oh well, that's a little chit chat for today. I am just tired and need to do something other than Computer Science-related things!!! :D