Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Year's Eve

Image from Pinterest
It's a good question to ask oneself!  Over the last 365 days, so much would have happened and even when we cannot remember everything, it's important to think about what we learnt from it all.

Me?  Hmmmmmmmmm

~ that I can depend on the grace of God for everything.  I did things which I didn't know I was capable of doing.  

~ that the people we love won't always love us back but we have to strive to continue loving them.  

~ that difficulties help us find inner strength and prayers help everytime.

~ that money can make people happy especially if they are in need.
~ that the year has been challenging in many ways but I have survived and life goes on.

Make it simple and you'll be able to achieve it.
Image from WWW

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Christmas: our blessings

Image from Pinterest

We're still very much in the Christmas mode.  The children have gone back to KL but their love, for each other and for us, hovers like an aura of positive vibrations. 

Today, they celebrate one month of wedded life.  In some way, with the addition of GG, our family has grown.  Like a missing piece to a puzzle in our lives, she fits so well!

Our joy is to watch them live life and to see them experience all that this world has to give.

Our blessing has doubled.  JJ and GG fill our hearts, our thoughts and our daily lives in a way that they will never understand until they have one of their own.  Only then will they catch a glimpse of how much we love them.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Pre New Year thoughts

Image from Pinterest

The key word here is HAPPY. Just be happy.  These are my thoughts for today. 

Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas is forever

Image from Instagram
This is true in so many ways.  Many, many years ago, we had a Christmas in April (if I remember correctly).  I was living in Section 14, Petaling Jaya then and we had several family members at home that day so we celebrated Christmas then. 


Well, Why not?

It's always Christmas if we feel love in our hearts.  

It's always Christmas if we hold on to love in our hearts.

It's always Christmas if we remember the love in our hearts.

It just can't get any better than knowing that Christmas is not just one day or one season.  Christmas is forever. 

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Post-Christmas thoughts

Image from Pinterest

We may not have snow but December is definitely the coldest month in Singapore.  It's the rainy season and most days it looks just like winter without the snow.  The sun stays behind the clouds and the weather is lovely for any outdoor activity.  

We have hardly put on the air-conditioning and the horrible hazy months are just a distant memory now. 

Such a wonderful time of the year and makes me look forward to each morning.  Feeling so mightily blessed.  

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Christmas: The day after

Image from WWW

Well, we survived Christmas day with all the merry-making, eating and drinking spree.  Today is to recharge the energy levels, before the evening comes, for another round of fun.

Image from WWW
 Just relax, take a deep breath before making new memories. 

By the way, Stephen will never fail to remind us that it's his day because some countries celebrate the feast of St Stephen on 26 December.  Okay, we get it.  Let's go eat your favourite local food!!!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Pre-Christmas, Christmas eve and more

Image picked up from Pinterest
It's been a great and glorious journey. Another wedding anniversary tucked under our wings for posterity.

When we chose Christmas eve to get married, I always knew that it would be a wonderful time because of all the love and magic floating in the air.  Even after so many years, it's not changed at all.

This year is especially memorable because we witnessed our son getting married at the Registry of Marriages last month. This excitement will remain in us until we watch him walk down the aisle, towards his beautiful bride, next November for the traditional and religious ceremony.  

We couldn't have asked for a better anniversary gift than this feeling of being naturally high (no drugs needed).  

Meanwhile I've shared this song before but it still holds true.

Happy anniversary, Baby Grosse! 

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Christmas thoughts

Image from Pinterest

Christmas is so near and amid all the hustle and bustle there's always time to think of all the people who have touched my life. Some gone forever, some living far away, and some just out of touch for various reasons.

Even if they aren't physically in my life now, I still keep a small place in my heart for them because they made a difference and helped me to be who I am today.  It's always such a sweet thing to hold on to good memories and to cherish them for what they were worth.  

Along with remembering all the people who are in my thoughts, these BLESSINGS help me stay in the present moment.   

Image from Pinterest

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Christmas Wishes to all

These days it's so easy with technology.  
This went out via email, sms, whatsapp, and now here.

Just a simple but meaningful wish to all of you!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Love is in the air

Image from Instagram
I still remember the first Christmas I celebrated with Stephen. I also still remember the first married Christmas together. It's the day after we tied the knot.  I'm sentimental like that. 

This Christmas, the children will celebrate their first married Christmas together.  I hope they will rediscover the beauty and magic of love that they have found in each other.  I pray that the true spirit of Christmas touches them in a very special way.

We're so excited that they will be here.  We've so many plans to live, love and laugh.  That's my mantra these days.  Life is sweet!

Image from WWW

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Love Magnificent

So so very blessed to belong to a church that teaches about how wonderful our God is and that His magnificent love is for us.

We are ready for the first service at 8.30 am.  I can't remember when I had this kind of excitement for a church service.  

There has never been a Sunday service that hasn't left me awestruck and better informed about the Grace of God.  

We've been swept up by the Grace Revolution.  We just bought the book but I haven't started reading it yet.  I can't wait to start but I'm a stickler for finishing the ones I'm on before I begin a third book. Yup, I have two ongoing books at any one time.  I'm weird like that.

I can't wait for morning!!!!!  We can't wait for morning!!!!!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

What do they do?

Image from Instagram

It's never easy to deal with the absence of those we once loved and continue to love.  However if they aren't with us, then surely we should remember that they are where we all long to be eventually.

Image from WWW

Friday, December 18, 2015

Christmas Cards

Image from Pinterest
Have you received any real Christmas card this year?  I only sent one this time.  It's to someone who doesn't have email or whatsapp. So the next best thing is by snail mail.

And just because we're so used to instant delivery and also an almost instant reply, my mind is wondering where the card is and if it will arrive safely to the destination.

I'll have to wait and see if the recipient gets it.  *taps fingers on table*

Note: The recipient acknowledged receipt yesterday.  The power of an SMS.  

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Christmas: It's a wrap!

Image from WWW
I'm done with wrapping my gifts.  There's no need to buy many gifts because I give cash to family members.  It's not the best thing to do but in this day and age, it's easier to let them choose what they want and I have no qualms about that.  I've received many gifts which I don't need or use and so I would prefer for my loved ones to buy what they really want or to spend it as they see fit. There's no harm in that.  

This practice of giving cash should be encouraged.  Because then we won't have the  problem of knowing what to do with the things we don't need or want.  

For those not so near or dear, we have to be attentive and get something that they've shown interest in so that they will feel glad to receive it.  Otherwise, chocolates, cakes, biscuits or wine will be the best choices.  

Sometimes it's very easy because there are so many things related to what they like.  A friend of mine loves all  Hello Kitty stuff so it's a very easy task to get her something.  At other times, it's a guessing game and we just have to depend on luck.  I usually have extra presents for surprise visits and people are always so pleased when they find that there is a gift for them too.  That's what Christmas is about!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Christmas: Pretty as can be

Image from Instagram
Scrolled through instagram and saw this.  It caught my eye because it has a lovely white picket fence and the trees frame the house so beautifully.

There's just enough to show it's Christmas and though this is a day shot, it's still ever so lovely.  

I imagine the owners to be utterly delightful people and the real beauty is in their hearts. 

How often have we seen houses with all the lights and exaggerated decorations that don't even depict the true spirit of Christmas.  Yet people have bought into the idea that this season is all about showing off.  

Simplicity and understated beauty speak loudest.  

Image from WWW

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Countdown to Christmas Begins

Image from Pinterest
It's such an exciting time of the year. While it may be ten full days to Christmas, we're counting down to when the children will be here and that is on the 22nd night!!!  So it's about seven days before they set off from Kuala Lumpur for Singapore.  I believe they will drive down so we will have the car here during that time.  Oh, to be chauffeur-driven again....  

What's Christmas without children like???  I don't know.  Whether they are with us or not, Christmas is always fun when they are a part of our lives. 

It's just double the happiness if they are here.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Christmas cookies

Image from Pinterest
I think the last time I made cookies I was a little girl.  Actually it was more of watching my mom making them and me just hanging around to watch.  If my memory serves me, we made pineapple jam tarts, peanut biscuits, cherry biscuits which we very quickly finished because there were four children at home then.

Anyway, I did make a handful of cookies tonight.  It didn't turn out as well as I expected but it also didn't turn out as bad as I anticipated.  The taste is super delicious but I need to tweek it a bit to get it perfectly baked.  I'm going to have another go at it and experiment with a different recipe this time. 

After all, it keeps me occupied and we have the holiday season to finish everything!!!  With a cup of hot coffee and good conversation, we'll enjoy the Christmas love and Christmas cookies.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

The reason for the season

Image from Twitter

While I'm busy during this season with retail therapy and all things commercial, I'm always mindful that the true spirit is found in knowing that Jesus is the reason for this celebration.

I'm done with whatever I want to do at home unless I buy something that catches my eye but that is unlikely because that money can be put to better use.  

Today I will just consolidate all the recipes and choose the easiest cookies to make.  Some friends have shared their family secrets and other generous people have put it up on Pinterest so I am really quite spoilt for choice.  

I'm feeling mightily blessed for the life I lead.  Sometimes I forget to give glory to the One above.  But right now, some nice Christian songs are playing and I am slowly getting charged up to seize the moments of happiness.

Happy Sunday everyone!   S M I L E !   Jesus loves you, too.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

C is for Cute and Christmas

These are just so adorable. It would be time-consuming to make so I'll just have to do with this image here for when I really have nothing to do and decide to give it a go myself.  Good idea as a gift, too!

Here are a few others that I found on Pinterest.  I'm saving them here for when I find myself with some time on my hand. Mwahahahahahahahahahahaha!

Friday, December 11, 2015

Christmas time: Things are moving along

Image from Pinterest

It's been a slow but steady process to get started on putting up the Christmas stuff ever since we returned from Kuala Lumpur. Stephen is back to work and I have been doing the bits and pieces to get the house done up for Christmas.  

This year, Stephen has been helpful and I know the reason why. The children are coming soon! Nothing like knowing they will be here to get him going.  

So we should be done by Friday night and we can relax, enjoy the lights and Christmas music.  Then I should begin some kitchen work.  Planned to start this week but didn't have the mood.  I am my own boss so I call the shots.  *grins*

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Christmas To-Do List

Image from Instagram

No. 1 Buy presents.  Be present.  
While I started shopping earlier than usual, I am still in shopping mode because whenever I see something that I think someone will like, I love buying it as a surprise.  I'm going to check this off my list because both are WIP and so it's almost done.

No. 2.  Wrap gifts.  Wrap someone in a hug
Am starting tonight eventhough I have some readymade Christmas gift bags to use.  Wrap someone in a hug?  Well, that's just too easy. 

No. 3  Send gifts.  Send peace. 
Hopefully by the time this post is out, I've already sent out the stuff that needs to go by post.  Send peace?  Okay, I do this during my daily prayers. 

No. 4  Shop for food. Donate food.
Haven't really shopped for food yet but will get to it soon enough. Donate food? Will be doing that this week as our local supermarkets have set up booths for us to help the needy.  

No. 5  Make Cookies.  Make love.
Yup, I'm planning to make some cookies and maybe bake a cake or two.  Let's see if I can reproduce what I'd done earlier.  Make love? The most sensible thing in this season of love.  :)

No. 6.  See the lights.  Be the light.
We've already gone to the famous Orchard Road to see the lights. Be the light must mean to give someone a ray of hope when they need it and I do this whenever and wherever I am able.  

Okay, I'm on my way to doing all this and more . . .

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Christmas excitement

Image from WWW

It's impossible to contain the joy and gladness one feels inside the heart.  

Add colourful lights, christmas carols, and suddenly the world takes on a different hue. 

Christmas excitement is building up and there's magic in the air!

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

The Christmas curtain story

The house never looks complete until I put up these curtains!  

They belonged to my MIL.  Our good friend, Diana S, gave her those curtains and I fell in love with the colours as soon as I laid eyes on them.  

Ever since I moved to Singapore, I have put up those curtains and they add a glow to the house. It takes so little to make me smile and these curtains always add to my happiness.

Each square represents something meaningful.  This is my fourth year in Singapore since moving here and I have a feeling it's going to be a fantastic one. The children will be joining us. They're newlyweds but choose to spend their first married Christmas with us.  We cannot but feel so blessed.

By the time this goes online, I hope I'm done with all the decorating and then I'm going to start baking.  *cross fingers*

And the countdown begins . . .

Monday, December 07, 2015

My cup runneth over

Image from Pinterest

Jared tied the knot at the ROM on Monday, 30 November 2015 after five years of courtship.  Their church wedding will be in 2016. Yay!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Young love is so wonderful.  

It's a week since and we're still deliriously happy that everything went so well. The simple ceremony, lovely lunch and dinner/drinks session all made for a totally memorable day. 

While it was quite exciting to finally hear the words, "you are now husband and wife", the defining "moment" for me was during the lunch when I suddenly looked around and felt overwhelmed by all the good people there who love this young couple so unconditionally.  It's a beautiful thing to be surrounded by so much positive energy.

My MIL congratulated me twice.  I can understand her joy. Jared is her first grandson!  I have been immensely blessed to have her as my MIL.  She has been a great role model with her love, encouragement and support for everything I've done.  

Katherine Hepburn nailed it by saying that it's not about what you are expecting to get.  It's always about what you are expecting to give.  May Jared and Gwen hold this message in their hearts and be blessed always by all the love that surrounds them.

My cup runneth over.... 
Image from WWW

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Another note to self

Image from Pinterest

Woke up while it was still dark so I could see Stephen off to work. Checked my whatsapp messages because some of my family and friends wake up at the crack of dawn and they usually drop me a wish or two.  It's always heartwarming to wake up to such positivity.

Went back to sleep until about 9.30 am and stayed in bed till 10ish. Okay, I sense raised eyebrows now! Hahahahahahahaha!  But this isn't how it is everyday.  Most days I have an agenda and I stick to it but once in a while a moment appears and I just allow it to envelop me.  

With coffee in hand, I do a quick check of emails and find one that I want to reply to because the person is important to me.  It's always a treat to read and dissect each other's words but with no judgement; only love, support and encouragement for one another. Such are the types of connections we should look for when we are older and not the ones that sow seeds of discontent and hatred.

It has been raining for a while now.  Thunder was in the distance and the beat of the rain on the awning was slightly deafening. Soft Christmas carols are playing in the background and I feel a strong sense of peace and happiness.

Not everything is perfect in my world.  No one has a perfect life but as I always like to think, it is far from imperfect.  

While I was replying, one load of clothes was washed and dried and I'm feeling that the quiet moment was time well-spent. Whatsapp messages came in and went out, between the email reply and I think I've made some people smile, feel better about themselves and helped them along their day.

I managed to rethink some of the old stories while replying an email and I realise how far I have moved on.  The stories have a lesser hold on me and who I am now.  In some way, it's just a moment but how those moments have added up to making a nice few hours by myself, my coffee and my thoughts. 


Friday, November 20, 2015

Monday, November 02, 2015


Image from Pinterest
Seconds, minutes, hours, days or even years may pass but it doesn't change what had once filled the heart with love, laughter and even tears.

The heart never forgets. 

Sunday, October 18, 2015

34 years to go....

Image from Pinterest
Recently I was at the celebration of a nonagenarian!  Yes, not a birthday party but truly a celebration because not many people reach the age of 90.

I searched my memory for another person of the same age and I couldn't!!

What is it like to be 90?  If my Aunt Therese Fitzgerald is anyone to go by, then it must be wonderful. I watched her sitting so beautiful and poised at the main table and saw how she enjoyed all the family and friends surrounding her.  The love and energy in the room was tangible.  

I wonder what goes on in the mind of someone at that age.  I see others, some even younger, in the Nursing Home who are physically and mentally challenged.  Aunt Therese is still alert and shows a keen interest in everyone and everything.  Is this the secret?

The elegant Therese Fitzgerald

I don't know if I will even see 90 but if I do, I hope that I will have kept my mind intact and still be able to recognise all my loved ones.  I also hope that I will have the ageless beauty and serenity of Therese Fitzgerald

A long way to go......... 

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Mid-October and Christmas is around the corner :)

Image from WWW

Unbelievably, it's mid-October already.  

I love October for many reasons.  People start talking about Christmas during this month. Even stores and malls begin promoting Christmas things alongside the Halloween stuff.  

Some of my friends already think of putting up their Christmas tree so that they will be able to have everything ready when November comes.  I'm not one of them.

Our home in KL hasn't had any Christmas decoration since I left. The kids are either here with us in Singapore or in Sabah so it makes no sense to put anything up.  When I was still there, it was fun transforming the home into a Christmas wonderland.  I suppose I would be willing to do it all over again when the grandchildren come. *grins*

Over the last four years, I've noticed that Singapore stocks Halloween items so there must be a demand, hence the supply. While I am tempted to buy, I refrain.  I just take photos of the interesting displays.

Anyway, back to a reality check and a reminder to myself about the five points in the image.  

Monday, September 21, 2015

Lines and life

Image from Pinterest

Every now and then I see this image and now decided to put it on my blog so that I'll know where to find it.

Nothing much to say except "food for thought". 

Friday, September 18, 2015

In the beginning...

In the beginning, there was STEEST.

Today is the anniversary of when STEEST was born on 18 September 2008.  I started the blog on impulse and then found it to be a great platform in which I could share my memories and also release some of the pent-up emotions I kept inside.

It was always a dream to write and even when I had no audience, I enjoyed it.  My teen years were spent huddled over my desk and writing poems.  I still have some of them.  Compositions in schools were my favourite and I thank my teachers for the guidelines although I do break some of the rules now and again. 

Due to a technical glitch (meaning my itchy fingers), I lost all the images on STEEST.  It was just a stroke of blessing that I decided to create a new blogpost here on SFGEMS.

I call it a blessing because it's a timeline, a more detailed one, of what's going on in my life since I retired.  Years from now I will be able to go through the posts and see if I can remember what made me happy, sad, laugh, frown etc.  

I call it a blessing because I've made many new friends while blogging and found kindred spirits.

I call it a blessing because my blog keeps me active and grounded. It pushes me to think about everything.

Yennyways, (curi-ed this word from my friend, Pat) I will celebrate today because, well, just because....