It's time for another week in recap. It's been quite hectic for the past couple of weeks, but overal they were pretty amazing weeks!
Hubby's sister, Amanda, has been in a courtship with her boyfriend Dito for the past nine years, and this year they finally got engaged! Hubby, as well as the whole family, is pretty happy and ecstatic for both of them, not only because Dito is a nice young man from a nice family, but because there is a belief in Indonesia that it is not good being a courtship for too long. Why? Well, the elders say that if a couple court too long without getting married, they are most likely will break up! I guess the logic behind it is, in a relationship, as much as we have good intention to be honest and show the real us, we as human naturally have a tendency to only show the best of us and play down the bad side to our partner. Yet, the longer we are in a relationship, the more comfortable we become to each other that we begin to show the "ugly" side of us, fights and disagreement start to occur, which tend to cause disappointment and break up. However, if we already got married, we practically have no choice but to work the problems out; because it's relatively easier to end a courtship than a formal marriage. I guess that's where the old belief came from!
Anyway, the engagement was a big and happy affair. Unlike my own engagement where Hubby came only with his parents and two siblings, received by me and my parents; this one was a formal ceremony attended by about forty people. Dito brought along his parents as well as his cousins, uncles and aunts; received by Manda's parents, the siblings plus partners (including myself), aunts, uncles and cousins. It's a little bit similar to Hubby's cousin, Tommy's engagement formal lunch last year which I chronicled in this post here, but Tommy's was in Chinese tradition, while Manda's was not.
Hubby's mother ordered some food from a catering company and lined the serving table up in the garage. Aunts brought a lot of delicacies for the affair as well. Unfortunately I was so busy helping with the preparation I forgot to take pictures! Not bringing Michael along was a wise decision afterall, because the inside of the house became very hot as if the AC didn't work, because there were so many people. So many people coming and going will only confuse him.
Also, on that particular day, Dito's parents celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary, so it was a double celebration!
As much as I am against drinking water from disposable plastic bottles and cups, I have to say that providing them for this event is quite practical.
Congratulations, Manda and Dito! The funny thing is, we are so used to having Dito around in family events, walking about, documenting things with his camera (Dito works in real estate, but he loves photography and works part time as a photographer). Dito is practically a family to us, that it's odd to see him came as a guest, and he just sat there with his family as guests.
This is Hubby in red batik with his cousins. Tommy, the one who got married last May. I wrote about his wedding in this post here. Hubby is the eldest among his cousins; since his mom is the eldest child.
If you have been reading this blog for a while, you might know that I manage the household finances and investments. We have several investments in our portfolio that we have been quite happy with. There's no way we are financial whiz nor experts, but we do invest diligently in things that we are comfortable with. One of them is mutual fund. It's perfect for novice investors like us who lack the knowledge and time to watch how the stock market works all day like regular stock traders. We have several mutual funds that I started even waaaaay before I met my husband. Every time we have some extra money, and when the stock market index plummets, we know it's time to buy because then the price hits rock bottom or at least lower than usual.
It's such a regular thing that after several years two of the mutual funds companies invited us - or included our account - to the priority customer list. As priority customers, we are invited to many cool events that they hold regularly: posh dinner at expensive restaurants, fashion shows, workshops, etc. Usually we're too busy to attend such events, or we're just not interested. However, this time, I did ask my boss if I could skip half a day of work so I could attend the tax workshop that Panin Securities held at a hotel very very close to where we live. Like, within walking distance!
It was a good workshop and I learned several valuable lessons about tax. Yet I could not help to giggle inside myself by we were referred to as "high net worth individiuals". There is no way Hubby and I are rich or wealthy. We have more than enough, yes, thank the Lord, but we are in no way are the big shots. I guess the company tries to treat us nicely and stroke our egos because we have been saving money quite regularly for many years with them!
They provided lunch with exotic menu, and I could tell that many of the people in the room were really big shots and were used to such gathering. I was not one of them, yet I was glad to learn something new.
Something (Old) New
When we were at Hubby's parents home for Manda's engagement party, I stumbled across this gimmick that my in laws received from their work place several years ago. It's a replica of Toyota Vios car with the exact measurement ratio as the real one by 1:43. It's bigger than the regular Hot Wheels car toy, so I thought Michael would love it. Hubby's mother said I could take it home for Michael, so I did. And how ecstatic he was!
Children's Birthday Party and ME TIME!!!!!
I'm sure all mothers out there can relate with me on this one. When the children are asleep, and Hubby is coming home late due to boy's night out, for Mommy it means.. ME TIME!!!!!
As much as I love those two men in my life, having time to be on my own and doing what I want to do for about an hour is just nice. Whenever Hubby is home, he usually would want to talk to me and tell me about his days; so when I'm alone, I can indulge in my guilty pleasure of watching videos on YouTube! Off course, being a mommy, multitasking still rings true even during me time. Hence, while indulging in watching "mommy and women stuff" on YouTube, I also wrap a birthday present for Michael's classmate for the next day. Look at the invitation card! I haven't seen such old-fashioned child birthday party invites for years, with clock picture and everything! It reminds me of the birthday parties I used to attend when I was in primary school.
I also managed to finish one whole bar of my favorite chocolate, black Toblerone, all on my own. Well...
Weekend is for family time!
Such as trying out new noodle shop in the neighborhood. It's a ritual that we always wait eagerly! This time we tried out Danau Toba Noodle shop.
Taking Michael to a book store. I accidentally thew out two of Hubby's books to the recycle bin (ouch) and Michael happens to like the book since the stories are funny and they contain lots of funny pictures; so I bought the books again to assuage my guilt.
Michael loves being in a book store, which pretty much reminded me of myself during childhood. Mom used to leave me in the bookstore on my own for hours while she went shopping, with stern warning that I should not, during any circumstances leave the store, unless she picked me up. Once I asked my Mom, how would she know that I wouldn't be leaving the store with some stranger with a convincing story, like he/she was sent by my Mom to pick me up? My Mom simply said that she knew I was not stupid. I don't know if I would ever dare to do that with Michael, but I remember exactly that I did understand as a little girl of five that I should ever ever ever leave the store with ANYONE but my Mom. I guess children know more that we give them credit for. Or it's just every child is different. I don't really know.
Michael loves music. Naturally he wanted to try out every single guitar sold in the store. I allowed him to, as long as I held the guitar. It's an expensive piece should he accidentally knock one down to the ground and break it!
Hubby and I are very thankful that Michael is not the kind of toddler who shows a temper tantrum in public. Whenever he's out and about at any store, he almost never ask me to buy him anything. Since a very young age, we tried our best to teach him to be content with what he's already had, the value of money, and that Mommy and Daddy must work hard to earn to the money to buy the things he has. At the bookstore he asked if he could buy a plane model kit, which I had to say, because it's such an advance toy and not for toddler. I did tell him the reason why, and he understood. "When I grow up to a big boy, I can play with that model kit, now I cannot do that just yet, " he said to himself, repeating my explanation.
I also showed him the stacks of crayons and coloring pencils that are being sold in the store. There were numerous brands and types. One with paper box, metal box, plastic box. One with a dosen pencils, 24 pencils, 48, even more. At home, Michael has a simple set of twelve pencils which he uses regularly to practice writing and drawing. I showed him one of the bigger boxes, and I told him that one day Mommy would buy him a nicer and bigger set, IF he takes a good care of the one he has at home now and always returns them to the box instead of letting them stray all over the house.
Finally Michael asked if he could have some "malam" or a local brand of play dough, made of colorful wax. I said, Mommy already had some at home, and he could have it later on. Hubby teased, that from all the nice, expensive toys in the store, Michael asked for the cheapest toy for Mommy to buy him, since he knows Mommy is like Uncle Scrooge! "Not scrooge, frugal!" I answered back, smiling. Coming from a little town outside Jakarta, Semarang is famous - or notorious, I should say - for being a city with very frugal people. I don't know why, but I often got teased about my frugality, being a "Semarang girl".
I'm quite happy with Michael's choice of a toy. One that requires effort and creativity to play with, as well as being a fun toy to play. It stretches his imagination, because he could make anything he wants with the dough: worm, ball, crocodile, alphabets. I will not mind him asking for toys with batteries should he wants to, but he very rarely does, prefer to play with toys that requires him to be more active. "I want a toy with which I can play Mommy, not the toy plays and I just watch," once he explained to me with his simple vocabulary on why he dislikes a train with battery which I thought was pretty cool because it can walk, run, and even climb.
Besides, don't you notice that the more thing a toy can do, the less thing the child needs tto do? I know this will change - more likely - once he is older. I mean, heck, I loved battery operated police car with remote control when I was a little girl, and had a blast playing with it, yet I'm glad that he's not into that kind of toys just yet. And iPad and gadgets. I know, I sound like grandma. What can I say. I'm a traditionalist. ^__^
Also, weekend is a time for worship. After several months of seeing his wife and child dressing up for Church, Hubby finally follow what we do and wear his nice clothes for Mass instead of casual, old T-shirt and sandals. He even wear shoes now. Hurray! The Bible is so wise, it does say that a wife should not nag and whine, but with correct behavior she can win over his husband's heart!
"Likewise, you wives should be subordinate to your husbands so that,
even if some disobey the word, they may be won over without a word
by their wives' conduct when they observe your reverent and chaste behavior."
(1 Peter 3:1)
I'm a big believer in dressing up for Church. Sure the Lord looks at the heart more, but dressing up is a way we show RESPECT to the Lord, as well as to other fellow Churchgoers. If one dressed up for job interviews, business meetings, dates, and parties, surely one can put extra effort to look nice when he or she worships in the house of the Lord.
I'm linking up to these wonderful Ladies: