Thursday, December 28, 2006

I don't want a lot for Christmas

There is just one thing I need
I don't care about the presents
Underneath the Christmas tree
I just want You for my own
More than You could ever know
Make my dream come true
All I want for Christmas.. is You
You, Jesus - You

That's the song that sticks in my mind every Christmas season, when preparing stuff for the services, helping out during service itself, and keeping up the aftermath of the services seems to occupy my days from beginning to end. So much so that the general feeling is that there is no "Christmas Mood" until Christmas is actually over! Heh! Standing on the feet for 12 hours a day or more, running multiple times across the length and breadth of Hall 8, doing everything by light-stick light, torch light and candle- light as Hall 8 was plunged into complete darkness. Bulletin making, candle poking (Hahahaha Rachel what a term!), stuffing the candles into bags, bag distribution, goodie bags distribution, cleaning chairs, clearing chairs, moving chairs, scraping the wax "droppings" off the chairs with ice-cream sticks, recycling, frenetically producing a few thousand more bulletins and candles as the attendance for the last service exceeded anyone's expectations.. All these were worth it. Like Meng Ching so aptly wrote, the best Christmas gift is knowing that you have made a difference to someone else's Christmas. No matter how small or menial the task given, it is where God has placed you and enabled you to impact others. Amen!

And so, we HAVE made a difference - to the 45,333 people that came and were blessed by the presence of God in all the services over the weekend. We have stood together with our Pastor and helped his dream and vision of 40,000 people this Christmas come to pass. Indeed God rewards all our faithfulness, hey! =)

I must admire all the leaders and ushers who served willingly and enthusiastically from Friday till Monday. Longest weekend ever, hey? It was obvious that you guys were physically tired by Sunday, but yet you kept the joy of the Lord as your strength and continued to serve humbly and with your best effort and saw the weekend through. I must say, 4S5 guys would definitely have got a good upper body workout this weekend.. with doing Internal Traffic for 3 services (ie moving close to 3000 chairs around the hall.. woo). Yet not once did I hear anyone complaining. Kudos to my great section!

Appreciating all those who gave me gifts this Christmas (i'll try to remember and describe correctly.. Digicam is on the blink!)
- Goong-inspired rich jewel-purple-hued jacket with flower patterns and gold trim, in a faux suede material from Gary
- DKNY watch and Teachers' perpetual calendar from my parents
- Purple (hee! purple!!) clutch with intricate lace designs from Rachel
- Glam oriental-inspired jewel-blue drop earrings from Jingxuan
- Sweet baby blue floral design earrings from Jing
- A multicoloured pencil from Cheewei.. I think it can write in all 7 colours of the rainbow at one shot but 我舍不得 to try
- An extremely cute teddy bear from Natalie (Boy if you guys could see my school desk.. It is overwhelmed with soft toys!)
- A dog with a difference.. The dog comes as a handphone holder! Haha! You have to see it to see how cute it is.. from Sabrina!
- my Stila concealer (yay) from Raine
- Faceshop eyeshadow in a very nice olive green from Jade
- A pair of super-kuniang purple shoes (high heeled, closed-toes, faux suede material with ribbons and crystals) that I love a lot but must think of how to match! Hee! PLUS a diamante-studded gold ring that I once pointed out that I liked but did not have the chance to buy (Thanks for remembering, Juan, Hui Erl, and Beatrice!)
- Oriental-inspired necklace and immense multicoloured glass ring from Roger (with help from Lynn hehe)
- A beautiful Japanese-kimono inspired handphone pouch from Kokon Tozai from Joseph the original prototype
- Glam-queen style gold and silver inlaid mirror from Belinda
- a The Dog 2007 organizer from Meng Ching and Juliana
- a perpetual organzier in non-recognizable-but-still-very-cute -cartoon-patterns, PLUS a butterfly iron-on patch AND a pair of really unique bamboo?rattan?wood? earrings from Meizhen
- two raisin muffins from Charmaine (boy you can bake, girl! Section refreshments confirm 找你了!)
- a box of dark chocolate (yum) coated almonds (yumyum) from Jeffrey the pillar
- A glass angel holding my name, Joy on it (This is bad.. I can't remember who its' from!!!! Tag me please if its you!!! SORRY!!! Update: From Jayme! Thanks!!)
- Chunky black bead bracelets from Judith
- Orange beaded long necklace from someone (OK, also bad, but this is not my fault for not knowing who its from.. it just appeared on my table)
- Another(?) 2007 organizer from Tiffany.. Question mark as I'm not sure if it is or not.. Haven't seen the gift yet
- Some scrapbooky thing from Keqing (also have not seen it yet!)
- a bag from Youmei and Esther.. Will update on the description when it arrives, according to YM its "lost in transit".. Haha!
- Loads of handwritten heartfelt cards from people too numerous to count. Thanks guys!
- Two Ed Hardy teeshirts! From myself! Hehe!

Such a long list.. I am so blessed without even knowing it! woo!

Post Christmas, I am also so very blessed by the "service" of my loved ones. Mother has been cooking up a storm to nourish her exhausted and sick daughter.. Storm includes roast beef, potato salad, mushroom soup, pear and almond soup, konnyaku jelly, chunky vegetable soup, beehoon, macaroni salad.. Teehee! yummy!

Also had a blessing for dinner last night at Pearl River Restaurant at Suntec City, which is very worth it for Chinese banquet-dinner style food! They have an ala-carte buffet concept where you pay a fixed price and you can order as many dishes off their ala-carte menu as you want. The menu is extensive and the food is good. I think we ate our way through close to fifteen courses..
- Steamed fish
- Deep fried fish in sweet and sour sauce
- Broccoli with crab meat
- Spinach with abalone mushrooms
- Fresh shitake mushrooms in oyster sauce
- Buddha jumps over the wall
- Fish maw soup
- Roast pork cold dish
- Chicken in claypot
- Beef cubes fried with celery
- Beijing duck
- 三层肉 (don't know the english translation)
- Drunken prawns
- Oat prawns
- Mango, durian puddings, 龟龄膏, red bean pancake, mango sago etc for dessert.

And we ordered barely 1/5 of the menu! Solid right!! So next time you want to pig out on Chinese food, you can give this place a try. Should go with a large group of people though, cos the dishes come in pretty large portions.

Yumm.. And so we look forwards to the new year of 2007. Time to start thinking, planning, and preparing. Time to (oh no!!!) go back to school. May 2007 be our best year yet!

Update: I got blessed at CG too! A Tangs voucher from my CGL, dearest Xueling, as well a stunning Body Shop Cranberry giftset from Jeffrey and Cindy.
Story of the Body Shop giftset: We did gift exchange this year, and we were supposed to specify a gift we wanted for below $20. I chose a Cranberry lip balm (which costs $8+). So imagine my surprise when I went for cell group thanksgiving yesterday and saw a huge paper bag with my name on it! When I opened it, I saw NOT JUST the Cranberry lip balm, but it also had body butter, shimmer body lotion, and soap! Whee! Apparently when they tried to go and buy the lip balm, they found it was sold out, so decided to get me the whole gift set instead. It must have cost more than 30 bucks! Wow! I am so blessed!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Love comes in fluffy forms


Just when I need to lose weight the most, its the festive season and mouthwatering food pops up everywhere in delightful combinations. All my fats are rooting for MORE members of their community to join them so they can ovewhelm, by sheer majority, the rest of my body and subsume me in fatness for the rest of my life. Argh.

Its also the time of the year when it rains intermittently throughout the day and the windchill factor is enough to make you shiver, especially on the 23rd floor of an unblocked HDB apartment building in ulu Yew Tee. That only contributes to the poshnosh-wishings.. Sigh...

All I want for Christmas (Dinner!) is...

1. Original Sin
Blk 43 #01-62 Jalan Merah Saga Holland Village (Chip Bee Gardens)
Vegetarian food at its best. Tofu burgers, wraps, hummus dips and mushroomsOMGmushrooms.

2. Le P'tit Breton
200 Upper Thomson Road, 01-11A, Thomson Imperial Court
The best crepes you can possibly find in Singapore. The flavours are so intense its scary.

3. PS.Cafe
28b Harding Rd

Imagine eating fudgy chocolate cakes as tall as my face in the glass-paned interior while watching the dappled sunlight sift through the trees. Need a car to get there though - its way inside Duxton Road.

4. Cafe Les Amis
Visitors Center, Botanic Gardens, Cluny Road

Experience Les Amis on the cheap, I say. The food at Cafe Les Amis is good, comes in mountains of portions and the setting in Botanic Gardens is beautiful.

5. Ichiban Boshi

Forget Sakae when it comes to conveyor-belt sushi. Fresher, cheaper, more flavourful and a larger variety to boot.

Sigh.. Food glorious food..

Monday, December 11, 2006

1.47 am

and I am NOT TIRED.


Either I am officially mad or I am regressing into youthfulness from hanging with my section too often..

back to the admin work.. boo!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Wherein a long unbroken monotony of words is uninterrupted by pictures

Photolog can now officially begin cos I've managed to rip photos off Rachel! hehe.
here goes/// pics are jus inserted in between the diagrams

.. because my digicam is spoilt.

*fanfare* Electronically Suay Chronicles Episode Two! Our heroine strikes back against EVIL white lines that mar the display of her digicam and cause her to be unable to document two whole fun-filled days at the 4S5 Chalet! Will the White-Line issue be resolved soon? Is it as simple as it seems? Stay tuned to find out!

Yes, there are real white lines on the display.
No, I did not spill liquid paper or french manicure white on it.

This is the second time typing this post, because my laptop SHUT DOWN!!! previously just as I was through with describing oh, one-third of the 4S5 chalet?? Bah to evil computers! (Ah, sneaky insidious creatures, they form Episode Three of the ESC.. Of course they would have to shut down, or else your erstwhile heroine would be out of work and we wouldn't want that would we?? We all know that huiming's "job" as a teacher is just a masquerade.. The REAL part of her life is in Battling Evil Electronics!)

Erms, yes. Nevermind! Deep breath! Announcing the arrival of the long-awaited blog post on *drumroll* the 4S5 CHalet!!
Have you guys yet noticed the marvellousness of the timing? 4S5 chalet on 4 and 5 December! Am I brilliant or what? *hopping around excitedly*

Oh right. No one else is as excited as me about the wonderful, amazing coincidence of dates. Harrumphs.

Day One!
I had to get up at 6freaking30AM to pass my car to Yongquan! Sigh. Poor old Nissan Sunny (not to mention poor Yongquan) had to HDB-hop around Singapore, fetching people and things for the games. It was a stretch of my car's capacity. =) Thanks to all you who wake up so early and prepare so many things for the day! Rachel, Ray, Natalie and XiaoEn!

After passing the car to YQ, I went to Yew Tee to buy stuff (yes! Oolong tea!) courtesy of ahemchaoturtlealanahem who assured me that the NTUC opened at 7am. Pooey! It opens at 8am!!!!! So I joined the brigade of aunties and uncles milling around the supermart waiting for it to open. I tell you, Singaporeans are fantastic. So Kiasu! No queue, also must fight to go in. No need to rush off to work, still must kan-cheongly cheong into the supermarket like two minutes makes a difference. Sigh.

Oh and when I finally *Very Gingerly* got my paws on Alan's Humongous Honda Airwave (AHHA! hahaha! WHat an acronym!).. Guess what.. I got lost! Goodness! How far was the distance, you ask? From the Airport.. TO... Pasir Ris. (Chorus: Kwa Kwa Kwa, please.) Yes, in that short stretch of like, 5km or so, I managed to get myself lost. After getting intimately acquainted with Tampines and Loyang, I reached White Sands to find to my immense relief that my propensity for getting lost does not outweigh my section's propensity for being late. We breakfasted at Macs, we unhealthy ones, before finally proceeding to Pasir Ris Park to begin the day's games.

Xiao En and me hiding behind a tree while waiting for the other teams to arrive

We started off with a game of Minesweeper. This is truly a strategy game where the team must cross over a minefield in order to reach the opposite side. Its both about attack and defense. At first I thought the small minefield would be peanuts to cross, but it was actually very challenging. And I really admire the opposing team captain's brains in strategizing. Apparently all the rarefied air at his altitude hasn't done TOO much damage to his brains (ahemjeffreyahem).

The battlefield

Strategies fly thick and fast

There were other games at the shelter station (the dog and bone? and the kick-the-ball-AKA-goodness-knows-what-this-is-called) before proceeding on to the Amazing race segment. The clues for the amazing race segment were jus right - not too difficult and not too easy, the preparation was well-thought-out, the timing was kept to well. We were kept busy and bustling from Pasir Ris Park to Downtown East to Costa Sands and Wild Wild Wet. Both teams were often neck to neck in the competition. Amazing race ended up with both teams arriving at the foodcourt for lunch (Haha! Good planning!) after a good one hour plus of running around the whole of the area. I must say, Vanessa is fantastic, she has such good knowledge of the whole resort and such good direction sense. Follow Van = cannot go wrong!

The before-math of the sabo

The AFTERmath (After chili, flour and vinegar...err!)

Save us

After lunch, there was a rather interesting segment called Picture Lu Kou. We were to find and take pictures of items starting with letters. The first item was the biggest problem - Nike shoes! Not a shop in Downtown East sold the silly shoes! So Genevieve and Charmaine charmed a passer-by into taking off his shoes to pose with us. Hehe. Who wouldn't take off his shoes for a pair of pretty girls..

Picture Lu-Kou-ing

Final roundup of the games was the Flag game. Oh boy, super confusing.. And the loser has got to fish out little strips of paper from a tank filled with seawater, vinegar and raw eggs! WITH THEIR MOUTH! Ugh! I kenna'ed the fishing thing and it was soooooo yucky.

The Flag game

The water USED to be clear

Its obviously not so now.. eek!

What can I say about the day. The weather was perfect - sunny but not stifling, the games were creative and brought about exactly the right amount of participation from the teams who played, the forfeits were gross but yet still doable, courtesy of the theatrics of Nat and Ray. Welldone all of us! -clapclap!-

The BBQ!
After that, we commenced our BBQ. Rachel, your estimation is fantastic, we had jus the correct amount of food.. Everybody ate till they were full and we had jus a little bit left. So we bought like 105% of the food that was required! And we fit it into our budget! Praise the Lord!
I learnt so much about BBQ skills that night.. Haha.. Like putting an aluminium tray at the side of the pit to fry crabsticks and fishballs in.. makes them hot without making them chao-da. Barbecued roti prata is also very nice! Yum! And the chicken wings bought were so good.. They are so huge that one chicken wing is big enough to make most people feel full. Mighty chickens!

Eating and cooking makes 4S5 a happy bunch

Jayme, Charmaine and Rachel

Programmes for the BBQ included dramas by both teams (Erms, what did you think the fishing out paper strips was for!) The 2 teams had to string together whatever words they fished out into a coherent drama. Super nonsensical! But super funny!

Then, there was a performance by Jeff and Kenneth. Oh dear. The 2 of them are super Buay Hiau Bai! Seriously Buay Pai Say! But also veryvery funny! The mere sight of the 2 of them just makes me laugh. Yongquan is also in the "funny" gang but fortunately, he did not sing! Heng ah!

Don't sing! Argh!

And then, touching moment of the night (aww) 4S5 sang a song for me! Erms, it was 老鼠爱大米 which got transliterated to 4s5爱慧明. Hmm, 你们是老鼠吗?那我就是猫。。猫才可以对老鼠凶! Hehe. So sweet! I found out you guys practiced it while "bluffing" me that I and Rachel had to go and move things into the chalet. Humph! No wonder I thought "what an un-chivalrous group of guys!" Cheh.. No you guys (and gals) are not unchivalrous! You're all so sweet! (melts into puddle) AND, after the song, I got a lovely bouquet of red gerberas and a gift pack from Body Shop. THANK YOU 4S5! 谢谢你们. A leader can never be great without great followers, its you guys who make me who I am today. And thanks Rachel and Xiao En for painstakingly making the pens.. Every single 4S5 pen is a treasure I am sure each of us will keep for a long long time!
Ps. Gerberas are my favourite flower, along with sunflowers. I wonder where you got the information from? Hehe..

Richie came! Along with Grace. Woo.. They heard THE SONG (paisay!) and hung around for about an hour or so, chit chatting with the ushers. Thanks for coming! =)

The aftermath
I have forgotten the energy of youth it seems, young people who can stay awake till 3 or 4am just talking, playing guitar and playing cards. In the immortal words of Erica, "Who comes to chalet to sleep?" And so sleep we did not. I was one of the first to concuss at 4plus am while the others were still out at Katong for supper. And apparently you guys continued playing till 7am! Siao bo. I am old already lah. And no wonder it was so difficult to rouse all of you from slumber at 8am!

8am-10am Dragging the people out of bed, chivvying them into the toilet, to eat breakfast, and to pack up.
10am - Returned the chalet keys and adjourned to Pasir Ris park.
10am-1pm - Sat in Pasir Ris park, continued to play games, guitar and 吹海风. Thats when I stepped on my satay stick (haha!) As retribution for our having cannibalized so many of their kind last night, the satays took revenge by attacking me (humph!)
1pm - Lunched and I went home.

Apparently the rest of the people continued hanging around at Escape and East Coast before finally making it to dinner and then going home at 8plus pm. Wow and all that on just one hour of sleep. You guys are truly amazing!

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Wednesday, December 06, 2006


4S5 chalet!
Is over!
And was great fun!


No pictures of my own cos my cam's on the blink, but heyy, we had an excellent photographer (Rac!) who ensured that every single moment was captured.

Will post more when the pictures are up.. and then it'll be a superlong photolog.. teehee.