Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!!!

Christmas this year, is "supposed" to be spent with our extended families, back in Indonesia. However, due to some bizarre & "unforeseen" circumstances, we ended up spending it in Singapore again... Jurong Bird Park to be exact, hehe...

Wondered what this "bizarre/unforeseen" incident is?

Well, our flight back was scheduled on the 23rd Dec, & everything went smoothly all the way till we were checking in our luggage.

That's when the 1st sign of "trouble" shows up. The lady at the counter pointed at my passport, & said its validity is less than 6 months.

I was shell-shocked! I remembered checking it few days ago, & finds it safe (it's Dec now, & it'll expire in June 2011) & made a mental note to make a new passport after we return from our trip. However, what slipped my notice is the dates, especially upon our return.

Uh-oh!!! What do we do now? To cut the long story short, we had to cancel this flight, while I & Hans (whose passport expires the same day as mine) made our way to the immigration for an extension.

Turned out, that an extension is not possible, & we ended up applying for a new passport, which'll be ready in a week's time. My heart sank at that reality... & thought about the family members awaiting our return, & how disappointed my kids will be... & the "burnt" air-tickets.

We managed to plead with the officer to have it slightly expedited, & she relented, by giving us the OK to collect the new passports on 27th Dec, Monday. We were grateful to her, knowing that it's Christmas eve, public holiday, & weekend all rolled in one.

Then my husband braced me with the news about the possible penalty we had to fork out for the cancelled flight. He mentioned, it'll be around $400 +

We made our way back to the airport, thinking it best to speak to a Jetstar counter staff face to face about this change. To my dismay, the fee incurred for the change of date, for 2 tickets will be $344... meaning $688 for the 4 of us.

However, whoever it is on the phone with her advised me to call in personally, as it'll be "cheaper". I asked her how much cheaper? And she said perhaps a hundred or 2.

Well, this is not really good news, but better than forking out $688 for this "freak" accident.

I called in, which (I assume) the call was routed to Jetstar headquarter in Australia. And a polite staff attended to my queries & request. And guess what?

It's all waived!!! WOW... I cant believe it, esp after going through all the "setbacks" the entire morning. When I told my husband the news, he simply said, " This is definitely God's grace & favour."

I agreed, feeling so relieved & happy about it... as though we've just been given free tickets! :)

When we told my brother, he was amazed too... esp since this is tickets for budget airline, which can be cheap, partly because of the clause " no cancellation or change of date" hehe...

All's well now. We "burnt" 4 days of our Indonesia trip, but am sooo thankful that at least everyone is safe & sound, we'll be getting our new passports on the 27th, & still managed to get 4 more tickets on a flight that day.

It was a draining morning, that ended on a happy note :D And, we started making plans on how to spend the next 3 days here, putting in real effort to explain the whole situation to Hans (who was badly disappointed).

So, Christmas eve was spent with our church, & Christmas day at the Bird Park.

And tomorrow, well... just enjoy it :) & pray that 27th will go smoothly for our passport collection, & our flight back.

Now, here's wishing everyone a MERRY Christmas! Hope it was filled with warmth, lots of love, joy & peace :D

Monday, December 20, 2010

Winter Wish List

This is a beautiful "wish-list" curated by Birribe that made it to the front page of ETSY.

I have some of my own (fashion wish list), but not quite practical for hot/sunny & sometimes wet Singapore :D

What's your Winter Wish List?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Another SPECIAL Order

It's amazing what customers can come up with. Here is a finished item of a BookCase with an "attached" Pencil Case :D
Velcros are sewn on at the back of the Pencil Case, so that it can be attached to the Book Case. The other flap at the bottom half, leads to a smaller pocket at the back of the Book Case, which will fit smaller notebooks nicely.
The front/main section of the Book Case will comfortably fit several A4 sized books.

Matching Pencil Case to go along with it :)
Customer's creativity, more often than not is fueled by their own personal need for everyday items, that'll serve its purpose well, practically. And The Laughing House always work towards making that "everyday- functional- practicality" dream comes true :D

Got an idea for your own designed dream bag/case? Send me a convo (msg) @ The Laughing House! I look forward to hear from you, always ... ;)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Custom Made Book Case

A special order for a customer who wanted a Book Case with a matching Paw Me Coin Pouch. She drew me a sketch of what she has in mind, & I thought, it really resembles one of our "older" design: The Suitcase Pouch!

I named it the Suitcase Pouch cus it looked like one, to me ^^
This particular one custom made for her, is spacious enough to hold several books actually.
The interior's "design" is actually a copy of our iPhone Case, with slight modification.
The customer requested an additional layer, divided into 3 sections with specific measurements.
This is how it looked from the side. The zip opens full from end to end, and the "flap" at both sides will protect the content from falling out.

My customer loves her custom made Book Case, & so did I! ^^

Friday, December 10, 2010

December, the month of BIRTHDAYS ^^

I dont know why I only have 2 large candles there. Either my husband (who got the cake) is in denial of my real age, or he wished I'm at least 10 years younger! hehe...

Birthdays always comes upon us suddenly (at least for me) as I wont realize that the day was coming near, until about 1 or 2 days b4 that. When, all of a sudden I became conscious of the approaching date. Well, Facebook seems to play a big part in making sure there's no way I can continue not to remember, hehe...

This year, my husband took leave to be home with us & I'm really pleasantly surprised when I knew about it in the morning. However, I had to spend the better half of the afternoon with my son in an eye clinic at a hospital for a check up, while my husband took my daughter out to get the birthday cake.

The whole day through, my son kept singing "Happy Birthday Mama ... in the EYE clinic" referring gleefully that I'm spending my birthday in the Eye centre. lol... but I cant help finding it funny since he put it that way ^^

We came back amidst a heavy downpour, & my daughter was impatiently showing me the birthday cake & what they got for me as a gift.

We wanted to wait till after dinner b4 cutting the cake, but everything was brought fwd for Natalie's sake.
And a week later, on December 8th, is Natalie's birthday. She's 4 years old. Here, Natalie was pictured happily unwrapping her present from us.
Eating her birthday cake. I didnt get her a fancy cake, just one I think she'll enjoy, hehe...
This is a blurry picture, taken by our helper. But I like this picture anyways :D

Next on December birthday list, my husband's ^^

We'll celebrate that in Indonesia :)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

No GOOD things shall He withhold...

Psalm 84:11
For the LORD God is our sun and our shield. He gives us grace and glory. The LORD will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right.

December is typically a busy month & "costly" month to go through, hehe...

It's the year end festive season, & 3 out of 4 birthdays in our family fall in December.
- Mine, Natalie's (my daugther), & my husband's.

And, this year we've decided to go back to Indonesia to spend the Christmas/New Year period with both sides of the family back in Indonesia.

So, buying tickets for the 4 of us, for 2 trips (December & May: to Bali for my brother's wedding) basically left us "dry" (almost), plus planning for all the Christmas gifts/presents to buy for nephews & relatives, & paying for our year end insurance premiums will decidedly "complete" that ^^

My husband already told me at the beginning of the month, he'll need my help in covering all expenses for this month. (We try to live within his income alone, while I save up my ETSY income for a planned trip to Japan nx year end).

I said OK, & in my heart thought: "Oh no... there goes my Japan fund" :P

Then, my husband's company's annual D&D came along. He was reluctant to attend, & I'd preferred him to stay at home too. But anyways, he went & I brought the kids to the airport for a "field trip" :D

Now, the company's D& D always have a company sponsored giveaways in the form of lucky draws. When he initially told me the value of the 1st prize, I prayed that he'll get it. That amount will comfortably tide us over this December I thought.

To cut the long story short, he WON it! Not the 1st prize, but the 2nd :)

It was a significant amount, & I was really in awe... of how gracious God really is to us!

Perhaps, it's God's way of telling us that he understands, that he knows our needs, & that whatever we gave out, we'll never be short-changed if we gave unto him, & we can NEVER out give GOD!

That night, our hearts were so full of thanksgiving to God for his provision, grace & mercy. We also prayed for wisdom so that we'll spend this amount wisely for our various needs instead of squandering them away.

These vouchers has served us well in buying groceries, all the Christmas gifts we need to get, & getting more essential items for the kids & myself... with some left.

With this, I want to testify, God's goodness & reality in our lives.

Psalm 84:11
For the LORD God is our sun and our shield. He gives us grace and glory. The LORD will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right.

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