Sunday, December 30, 2007



We wish you a

Happy New Year 2008

love,
The Maddens


Saturday, December 29, 2007

Mr. Kaplan and Mr. Kaplan

There were Christmas party on Christmas Eve at Gus's parent's house. When Mr. Kaplan (our dear friend) arrived, Benny said: " Hi Mister Kapalan!" (that's the way Benny pronounce the name). And then Benny put on a silly mask on his face and introduce him self to Mr. Kaplan that he was "Mister Kapalan" too. Mr. Kaplan laughed and said that it was the best Christmas present ever! Btw, can you tell which one is the real Mr. Kaplan in the picture?

Saturday, December 22, 2007



HAPPY HOLIDAYS
ALL THE BEST IN THE NEW YEAR


LOVE, THE MADDENS
(ANNA, ANGUS, BENNY AND THIA)



Thursday, December 20, 2007

Let it snow ... let it snow ... let it snow ...

Yup, we got tons of snow again today. In the past two weeks we had 4 snow storms. Fortunately I didn't have to go anywhere or get trapped somewhere during the storms. But that doesn't mean I feel safe driving the day after the snow storm. The roads are usually still pretty bad. I really have to be careful driving in the snow. I don't want to get in any more car accidents ... snif.

I don't like when Gus has to drive in the snow storm. So, usually I tell him that the roads will be very bad to try and convince him to change his mind. But as usual Gus said he will use his good judgement. If the roads are very bad, he will come back home.

Today, Gus was driving out there. I called him to make sure that he was okay. He told me he needed to call a tow truck, because he got in an accident. Of course I was worried. But after a few minutes, he said he was just joking! O my God! "Gusssssssss ... you are not nice!" Gus laughed so hard. He likes teasing me. Actually, this is the second time he made a joke getting an accident in the snow storm and I believed him both times. "Grrrrr ... @#$%^&*!!!"

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


May the blessing of Allah be with you and your family

HAPPY EID UL-ADHA 1428 AH
December 20, 2007

love,
The Madden Family


Monday, December 17, 2007

I am back!

Hi everyone! How are you guys doing? I miss you! We have a ton of snow today. Benny and Thia like to play in the snow. They like to taste one too ... snow cone everyone?!


My family and I are doing great! I have been busy being a "Taxi Mom" and doing other stuff. I am exhausted and I didn't have time at all update my blogs ... sorry ... :(
When I said to my husband, Gus, that I missed my old life, he said jokingly: "in your dreams!"

OK, here is what happen when I was "disappeared":

- Redsox parade in Boston.
It was awesome! We got to see everyone closely. Pabelbon danced and sang on the duck tour in silly way. We didn't go to Penang restaurant but we had lunch at Thai Basil on Boylston street instead.

-Thia just turned two.
This girl is a big trouble! I can't bring her into a store, because she will run around like crazy. She likes doing "fun" things like: playing in the toilet! She was soaked ... gross !!! You can see her "caught in the act" picture with the green shirt.

She goes to Local Motion (gym class ... kinda ... ) once a week. She likes to sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and The Itsy Bitsy Spider. On her birthday, I tried to make Indonesian food. But it took so long to cook it. I have to admit that cooking American and Italian food is a lot easier.

She likes to wear dresses now! I don't mind she does that. But it's winter now, and she doesn't want to put on her coat because it will cover her dress! Gees ...

- I just had my birthday too.
It was a surprise party. My mother in-law, Cynthia, had the idea. I was really surprised and I loved it. Thank you guys! It was the best birthday party ever!

- Learn to skate.
I know I am very busy, and I don't know why I am taking this lesson. Maybe because I thought someday I would be the only one in my family who couldn't skate. It's easier if you take this class when you 3 or 4 years old. But when you are old like me ... it is a nightmare! I fell down a hundred times! Every time I was on ice, I was thinking: "what am I doing here?" But after doing a lot of practice, I can skate around now. Horay!!! It's not perfect, but I am proud that I can skate a little bit. :)

I saw an ice rink at Taman Anggrek Mall, Jakarta. Do you know anywhere else that has ice rink in Indonesia?

- Have a new friend: Hany Von Gillern.
Hany is fun and she is a good cook. We email each other often. I am planning to call her someday.

- Busy getting holiday presents.
Luckily I am done shopping! Yay ! Gus still has shopping. Hurry up Gus!

That's all! Do you have any plan for New Year's Eve? We are going to Gus's parents house. Gus's brother, John, and his family are coming to visit. On new year, Gus will take Benny to Marlboro, MA, for hockey tournament. Thia and I won't be going because they will leave at 6 o'clock in the morning! A yay yay ...

Monday, October 29, 2007

Boston Red Sox Won World Series 2007

Go Red Sox! Yeah ...
Congratulations on winning the World Series 2007!
Mike Lowell ... MVP !!!

We know you can do it, Red Sox, awesome!
Thank you, thank you, thank you!

My husband will take me and the kids to see the Red Sox parade in Boston. Yay ... thank you Gus!

I am so excited, because we might go check Penang Malaysian cuisine in Boston. I will tell you how it goes next time.

Friday, October 26, 2007

"Happy Halloween!"

I took the kids to halloween party at Benny's school today. Benny became Transformer Optimus Prime, Thia became Minie Mouse, and I became a witch. It was a fun party with a lot of singing and dancing.

For the first time in 3 years, I made treats for Benny's school halloween party. I made 27 eyeball cupcakes. I forgot that everyone always bring cupcakes too. Next time I will make something simple like my friend Laura's witch hat cookies. She didn't even bake them. And it was a big hit!

If you would like to see my halloween treat recipe ideas including my friend, Laura's witch hat recipe, you can check them at you know where ... hehehe ... yup, AnnaMaddenCooking

Thursday, October 25, 2007

What's wrong with me today?

I forgot to remind Benny to bring something for "show and tell" class at his school today. Thia supposed to wear custom for halloween theme today in her gym class. Aaaaa ... what's wrong with me today? Snif ... snif ...

Too much cooking, baking and blogging ... I guess ... :(

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Boston Red Sox

Right before the World Series between the Rockies and Red Sox first game, I just want to say: "Go Sox!" Wooo hoooo ....

Gus and Clem, are you guys warm enough? Hopefully it won't be pouring tonight. Have fun guys ,but don't loose your voice again! ;)

Monday, October 22, 2007

Anna Madden Cooking


Hi guys, I would like to introduce my new cooking blog:


And check out my story:

When I lived in Indonesia, I never cooked. Our helpers did the cooking for us or we bought food. But, when I came to the US, I had to do everything by myself, including cooking. My question was: how do I feed my family?

Many thanks to my mother-in-law, Cynthia, who patiently taught me how to cook. That is why most of my recipes are American and Italian food. Since then, I became interested in cooking. From "I had to cook" to "I love to cook." Cooking is fun !

Trying new recipes is my hobby. Sometimes I challenge myself to make a delicious dish (for me at least haahaa ...) by mixing some good recipes and adding a little more stuff. And voila ... it's a good one! It is satisfying to cook good food!

I still don't know how to cook Indonesian food. Well, I know just a little about it. I have been asking suggestions to my mother how to cook it. Thank you so much Ibu! Hopefully, my indonesian food label will have a lot of posts someday. :)

I am a very busy mother, so some of my recipes are semi-homemade. It means that sometimes I use store-bought food for my cooking. But don't worry, I still post the recipes from scratch, especially for you. ;)

I made a cooking blog because I want to share my recipes and my five years of cooking experiences with everyone. But five years experience is not enough to be called a good cook. Of course I still have to learn a lot about it.

Please help me by giving critiques, comments, and suggestions from all of you, my friends, so my cooking can be better. Thank you! I hope this blog is useful for everyone. Enjoy! :)


Friday, October 19, 2007

My Idul Fitri Weekend

Friday, October 12, 2007:
I baked all day long. I made two cheesecakes: one for my dear friend Anneke, and the other one was for my family. I also made a flourless chocolate cake for Benny's birthday, and Rugelach cookies. I prepared turkey bacon wrapped scallops too.

Idul Fitri, October 13, 2007:
My family and I went to sholat Idul Fitri at a local university. After sholat, my friends and I were sad, we thought we wouldn't have an Idul Fitri party because it was difficult to find time.
But Anneke's husband suggested that we have a party on Sunday afternoon, and the husbands could watch the Patriot's game. Better than nothing! :) We were so excited ... finally we would have an Idul Fitri party at my friend, Mbak Watty's house ... yay ... thank you Mbak Watty and also thanks to Denny!

My friend, Mbak Riri, shared her 7 kinds of Idul Fitri cookies with everyone. She stacked them into five layers into colorful chinese goodie bags. It was beautiful and delicious. Thank you Mbak Riri!

Gus took Benny directly from the university to a soccer game at 9 am and then to a hockey game at 10:30 am. Crazy!!! Thia and I went back home to get ready for Benny's birthday dinner at our house.

At 3:30 pm, Gus's family started to arrive. We had turkey bacon wrapped scallops for an appetizer, with nuts and cheese and crackers. For dinner we had steaks with spicy kecap sauce, green salad from my sister in-law, Colleen, tater salad from Lindsey (Gus's sister), and Angela's rustic Italian bread from Cynthia and John, my parents in-law. Yay ... thanks everyone for bringing the food! It really helped because I didn't have time to make it. And it was delicious!

The flourless chocolate cake was a big hit, I guess ... he he he ... beside the cheesecake and the rugelach cookies ... he he he ... I am glad everyone loved it. Insya Allah, I will talk about the recipes next time. ;)

It was fun when Benny opened up the presents. We were watching Benny and waiting for his reaction after he opened each present. He was really excited, and would raise each present in the air like a trophy after he opened it.

Everyone left around 7 pm to watch the Red Sox game that started at 8pm, perfect timing! Some brought some of the cheesecake and some rugelach home. We were so happy. I was blessed to be with Gus's family to celebrate Idul Fitri 1st day.

Sunday, October 14, 2007:
Gus took Benny to another hockey game at 10 am (what a surprise! he he he ...). Thia and I attended to our friend's son's baptism party at 11:30 am. We went back home at 3 pm , and got ready for another party: Idul Fitri with friends ... yay ... Gus and I were exhausted. We were really sleepy, so Gus made black coffee for him and black tea for me ... zzz ... zzzz ...

The party was awesome. I felt like I was in Indonesia: eating a lot of Indonesian food and watching Liputan 6 on the internet in the background. I never knew that we could do that before. Good to know guys. I shared my Rugelach cookies with everyone. I put my cookies in colorful goodie bags. Insya Allah I will tell the recipe next time (again). Seriously! :)

We went back home around 8 pm. Gus and I were soooo tired. Happy, but tired. Even now I am still a little bit tired. That is why I have not updated my blog for almost one week. Thank you for stopping by to ask about how my Idul Fitri was.

Thank you to the Madden family and my friends who made my Idul Fitri day one of the bestdays ever! I always miss my family in Indonesia on Idul Fitri but I had a great time here this year.

Also thank you to everyone who wished my family and I "Happy Idul Fitri" and accepted our apologies. Hope you had a great Idul Fitri or great weekend too! God bless you!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


We would like to wish you and your family,

Happy Idul Fitri 1428 H


Please accept our apologies and welcome the new year with a fresh start. May Allah SWT forgive us, accept our fasting, zakat, and prayers, amen!
May Allah SWT bless you and your family, amen!



Anna, Angus, Benny and Thia Madden





I miss you so much, Bapak! I miss the time we were all together celebrating Idul Fitri and enjoying ketupat and opor ayam. Benny is big now and Thia is very pretty. My heart hurts every time I remember you. O ... Allah, please help Bapak to rest in peace, amen! I miss you Mbah Putri. Insya Allah, I will see you when I go to Indonesia next time, amen! I miss you Ibu, Mbak Lisa, Mas Joni, Jullian, Ferdian, Dik Iin, Dik Eko, Vania, the baby, and all of our relatives in Indonesia. I wish I was there to celebrate this greatest day with all of you.



Friday, October 5, 2007

Lailatul Qadr

It is the nights of Lailatul Qadr, guys! The night the first verses of Al Qur'an were sent down to Prophet Muhammad by the Angel Gabriel. It happens on the last ten days of Ramadan, and is believed to be in the odd nights. That means: 21st (Oct 3), 23rd (Oct 5), 25th (Oct 7), 27th (Oct 9), and 29th (Oct 11). But many people believe that the night of 27th is the exact night of Lailatul Qadr.

Special du'aa of Lailatul Qadr:
"ALLAH HUMMA INNAKA A’FUVUN TOHIB BUL AFVA FA’AFU ANNI"
"O Allah! You are the Forgiver and You like forgiving so forgive me”

Don't forget to take advantage of this night by doing many prayers. It is better than a thousands months! My family and I hope we all "get" the Lailatul Qadr. May Allah SWT forgive and bless all of us, amen!

Sleep Apnea

Roar ... roar ... It was not sound of a lion or other wild animal, but it was Gus's snoring sound. hehehe ... I am a light sleeper, so I wake up every time I hear any noise.

It sounds normal, doesn't it? Gus snored while he was sleeping (so do many other people). But it was not normal! Gus was diagnosed with sleep apnea after he got checked out by a special doctor. It meant Gus would stop breathing repeatedly during his sleep. His sleep apnea also made him very tired during the day.

Here is a short description of sleep apnea according to Amerian Sleep Apnea Association:

The Greek word "apnea" literally means "without breath." There are three types of apnea: obstructive, central, and mixed; of the three, obstructive is the most common. Despite the difference in the root cause of each type, in all three, people with untreated sleep apnea stop breathing repeatedly during their sleep, sometimes hundreds of times during the night and often for a minute or longer.

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is caused by a blockage of the airway, usually when the soft tissue in the rear of the throat collapses and closes during sleep. In central sleep apnea, the airway is not blocked but the brain fails to signal the muscles to breathe. Mixed apnea, as the name implies, is a combination of the two. With each apnea event, the brain briefly arouses people with sleep apnea in order for them to resume breathing, but consequently sleep is extremely fragmented and of poor quality.

Sleep apnea is very common, as common as adult diabetes, and affects more than twelve million Americans, according to the National Institutes of Health. Risk factors include being male, overweight, and over the age of forty, but sleep apnea can strike anyone at any age, even children. Yet still because of the lack of awareness by the public and healthcare professionals, the vast majority remain undiagnosed and therefore untreated, despite the fact that this serious disorder can have significant consequences.

Untreated, sleep apnea can cause high blood pressure and other cardiovascular disease, memory problems, weight gain, impotency, and headaches. Moreover, untreated sleep apnea may be responsible for job impairment and motor vehicle crashes. Fortunately, sleep apnea can be diagnosed and treated. Several treatment options exist, and research into additional options continues.

There are treatments for sleep apnea: surgery or using a CPAP machine.
After a lot of thought, Gus chose to use a CPAP machine. CPAP is short for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. It blows air at prescribed pressure.

His machine is great! It has been helping Gus to sleep really well at night. Gus didn't feel comfortable using it at first, but he kept using it. Now he doesn't have problem sleeping at all.

The good news is CPAP machine is covered by insurance! You can click here to find out more information about CPAP machine.

I hope this information is useful for you all. Because sleeping better can make your days better too! ;) Good luck guys!

Monday, October 1, 2007

My childhood

I got this homework assignment from Jeng Susie, to write about my childhood. Thanks dear! Okay, here we go:

I was born in Semarang. My childhood was happy and fun. My mother taught me how to be independent. I knew how to clean and took care of everything even though we had helpers. But there was one thing that my mother forgot to teach: cooking! And the weird thing is she was confused about why I couldn't cook. (She must not have realized ... hehehe). None of her daughters liked gardening. My mom likes gardening and has a beautiful garden. I didn't like caterpillars and worms, that was the reason (and still is). (See my old post: gardening).

Kindergarten:
When I was a little girl, I liked to sing and dance. My kindergarten teacher asked me to take a singing competition. I practiced, practiced and practiced. The song was "O Amelia." I had to sing two versions of that song. I had no problem singing the original version, but I had a difficult time memorizing the other version. The result ... yup, I forgot the lyrics of the other version when I was on the stage. I was sad and I felt bad with my teacher, Bu Yayuk. (I wonder how she is now). I smile every time I remember that moment. My "becak" driver, Pak Min, was very patient taking me to my school everyday. Every time I go back to Semarang, I see him driving around with his becak. Next time I see him, I will say hi and talk a little bit to him.

Elementery:
I was a little tomboy. My father always asked me, instead of my two other sisters, to help him to do stuff like climb the gutter to clean leaves, etc. (Bapak, I miss you so much! May Allah help you to rest in peace, amen!) There was a "jambu air" tree in my parents front yard. Almost everyday I climbed that tree. I loved to hang out in it. I sat down on one of the tree branches and I read a magazine, listened some trendy songs from the radio, ate jambus, and watched my kittens climb around in the tree. I thought: "Aaahhh ... life is so good!" In class, I was not a smart kid. My math was always bad, oops :) But at least I was good at Javanese dancing and playing the "gamelan". hehehe ...

Junior High:
I loooove to dance. My group of dancers and I competed in many dancing competitions. Sometime, we just dance on a stage for a special event. Thanks to my mom who insisted to my father that I should be allowed to dance. Matur nuwun, Ibu! I wasn't satisfied with just dance competitions. I liked to go to discos! There was a disco near my house which was open in the afternoon from 2-5 pm, perfect! This was what I did: I came, chitchatted a little bit with my friends and after that danced for 2 1/2 hours nonstop. Woohoo ... awesome! I looooooove it! But then they changed the time to night time: 11 pm - 2 am. Rats! I didn't have a choice, I snuck out and jumped over my house fence and went to the disco. Naughty, naughty, naughty! Hey, what can I say? I love to dance! (I hope my kids won't ever see this post ... hahaha).

High School:
I still remember, my mom reminded me to study hard. I listened to her. My grades were great. And what else? Hmm ... I was a heartbreaker! Sorry boys! Would you believe me if I told you that I never had boyfriends? My husband was my first and last one! I know ... he is a very lucky man! Hahaha.....
My parents were very strict. I don't blame them. They had 3 daughters! I don't know about you, but I agree with my mother that having casual boyfriends in high school is just wasting time! Yup, I was a weirdo! I thought, not having boyfriends was not the end of the world. :)

That is it, the story about my childhood. I was just an ordinary girl ;) hahaha ...

The next people to do the homework will be:
1. Anneke
2. Vina
3. Dyah
4. Sili
Thanks girls!

NB: karena keluarga suami sering baca blogku, aku sekarang banyak nulis pake inggris. itung2 belajar grammar sekalian, hehehe. semoga teman2 mengerti. ;)

Homemade cheese cake?

Last weekend, Anneke, her family, and I attented break fast in Northeastern University in Boston. Unfortunately Angus and the kids couldn't come because Benny had a hockey game that time. :( It was a potluck party, so everyone brought some food. Anneke brought delicious Soto Betawi and I brought two cheesecakes. I wanted to bring Indonesian food but I don't have confidence in my Indonesian dishes yet.

It is easy to make the crust, but I didn't have time to make it, so I got two of them at the grocery store. For the filling, I used cream cheese and mascarpone cheese. It was the first time I made these cakes decorated with fresh fruits. What do you think guys? Not bad huh?! Angus asked: "Do you want to make a cheesecake business, honey?"

My friends didn't believe that I made these cheesecakes. They thought I bought it at the grocery store. Well yeah but only the crust :) They loved it. Yay!!! I'm glad everyone enjoyed them.

Clik here for the recipe.

P.S. for Anneke: Insya Allah, I will make one for you and your family on Idul Fitri ;)

Happy Birthday Benny!

It is my son's birthday. I can't believe Benny is 6 years old now. I feel like he is still my baby (Benny doesn't like if I call him my baby. He prefers to be called a big boy).


Usually on his birthday, I would make cupcakes for his school friends. But because there is no school today (Columbus Day), I will make the cupcakes tonight, and Benny can bring them to his school tomorrow morning.

Besides that, usually I invite Gus's family over for Benny's birthday dinner. This year I am inviting them on Saturday. For some reason, we have never made a birthday party with a lot of Benny's friends. Maybe someday ;) But I remember mine when I was a little girl, we celebrated it only with my family, and I was so happy. Hopefully Benny will feel the same way.

Actually Benny is lucky he will celebrate his birthday 3 times: tonight with his family, tomorrow with his teacher and friends at school, and this Saturday with Gus's family.

My husband and I have promised Benny that we will go to Chuck E Cheeses soon. I also will take Benny today to get more Bionicles in the store before hockey practice.

Happy Birthday Benny! I hope you will have a wonderful and fun
year. Thank you for being a good boy. We are very proud of you. May Allah SWT always bless you and you will be "anak yg sholeh" amen!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Meet Benny

"Bennyyyy, if you still have energy, why don't you run around the house a hundred times?!" I say that almost everyday. That kid has a lot of energy. Even after doing a bunch of activities in one day, he almost never tired. And when he gets home he still jumps around like crazy!


I still remember when I gave birth to Benny on October 8, 2oo1, in Pondok Indah Hospital, Jakarta, Indonesia, after a long labor (1 1/2 days). Ouch! We named him Benjamin. My mom suggested 'rizki' for a middle name. Rizki means lucky or fortunate in Indonesian. So his middle name is Rezky, modified from rizki. We taught Benny to call me Ibu and call his father Daddy. But now he calls me Ibu, Mommy or Mama (it must be something he picked up from his friends or tv).

We moved to the US after Benny was one month old. He was circumcised right away. It was actually a little bit late because here, baby boys are circumcised when they are 2 days old. My family thought it was mean to circumcise a baby. In Indonesia, boys are normally circumcised when they are in elementary school. People in the US think that circumcision when the kid is in elementary school is mean. Well ... calm down guys! Do what you feel is right! ;)

When Benny was little, he never liked to eat, so of course he was a little bit skinny. Every time I took him to his doctor, the doctor said that Benny's weight was okay, no problem, as long he looked healthy. But every time we went to Indonesia to visit my family, my family said that Benny was way too skinny and I had to do something about it. O boy ... :)


But now, he likes to eat. He is still a picky eater though, but not too bad. His favorite is: "chicken and nasi!" Yay!

Anyway, because he has a lot of energy, he does a lot of activities. Right now, he is doing soccer, hockey, and taekwondo. In summer, he does those plus swimming, golf, football and baseball. Sometimes, I think that these activities are too much for him. But my husband always reminds me: "Benny loves what he does. Any day where he doesn't have some activities, he goes nuts!"

My husband is right. After Benny gets home, he still does other activities like riding his bike, playing wiffle ball, practicing soccer, or playing in the sand box. I try to play with him everyday, at least once a day. But he always wants more and says: " Want to play with me, Ibu?" a hundred times.



Benny loves Transformers. Have you seen the movie yet? It was awesome, wasn't it?! He also loves Bionicles, Legos, Pirates, Boats, Ships, Trains, and costumes. Yup, costumes! Everyday is Halloween for him. He has a cowboy hat, a cape, a Darth Vader mask, a Blue Power Ranger costume, and a Superman costume. He used to have skeleton and Emergency Room costumes, but those don't fit anymore.


Halloween is coming, and Benny keeps changing his mind about what he wants to be. He said he wanted to be a vampire. Another day he said he wanted to be a pirate or Optimus Prime from Transformers or a knight. And then he changed his mind again. He said he wanted to be a vampire. I asked him why not be Optimus Prime because it is more current. He said, "Optimus Prime is not scary. Halloween is suppose to be scary and that would be a vampire!"

Benny is in kindergarten and can read a little. He needs to practice reading. Every time we ask him to read, he is nervous and asks us if he can read only a half page. Ayayay! Fortunately, he likes to do homework (so far ... few!).

Benny's gets naughty when he watches too much tv. That's why he is only allowed to watch a little tv, and only after he has done his homework. We don't have any video games either.

Benny likes to play with his sister, Thia. They have fun playing together, but sometimes they don't want to share toys. Sometimes Benny teases Thia. Sometimes Thia teases Benny. When they both scream, my husband and I get a headache.

Benny loves doing silly things. One night, he put a lot of pillows in his shirts and shorts. He looked like he was ready to play 'sumo'... haaaaa. He also thinks the words 'butt' and 'poop' are really funny (I know ... weird!).

I wouldn't know how to live without Benny. He has been helping me with a lot of things. He even likes to help me to cook too. I often ask him to watch Thia. I have a funny story about it. One day, I asked him to watch Thia while I was busy cooking for dinner. They played nicely together in our living room. But after a while, I didn't hear any noises. It was silence. I checked in the living room, they weren't there. I checked up stairs. I found them! O mi gosh, they both in the bath tub, naked. My heart was pounding hard. I said "Benny, what are you doing? It is dangerous for you and your sister in bath tub without adult supervision. It is dangerous for you to lift up your sister into the bath tub by your self!" I checked the water, and it was warm. Few! Benny apologized and he promised he would never do it again. Although it was scary, they seemed very happy playing in the bath tub. I thought they were so cute, so I took some pictures of them. You can see their picture above.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Kesimpulan puasa dimusim panas

Sebelumnya terima kasih sekali atas pendapat teman-teman tentang postinganku sebelumnnya: Kuatkah puasa di musim panas?

Kita memang harus berpikir positif untuk siap menjalani ibadah puasa dimusim panas nanti. Insya Allah aku akan berusaha sekuat mungkin. Tapi yang aku maksud di sini adalah: "adakah keringanan waktu berbuka bagi orang-orang yang tinggal di daerah yang terkena musim panas dengan siang hari yang panjang?" Perlu digaris bawahi di sini bahwa puasa dimusim panas aku bukan mempermasalahkan panasnya, tapi mempermasalahkan lamanya waktu puasa dari imsak sampai iftar. Di musim panas, kalau di daerahku matahari tenggelam sekitar jam 9 malam. Itu belum apa-apa kalau dibandingkan di daerah Arctic, matahari bisa tenggelam sekitar tengah malam!

Memang segala sesuatu yang sudah digariskan Allah SWT harus diterima, dihayati, dijalani dan tidak perlu ragukan atau ditanyakan lagi. Seperti misalnya kita dilarang makan babi. Di Al Qur'an tidak dijelaskan kenapa Allah melarangnya. Mungkin banyak yang penasaran kenapa, tapi aku sih menurut aja, toh tidak berakibat apapun.

Sekarang tentang berpuasa. Di Al Qur'an, Allah dengan jelas memerintahkan kita untuk melakukannya. Tapi tidak dijelaskan tata cara berpuasa bagi orang-orang yang tinggal di daerah tersebut di atas. Seperti aku sebut sebelumnya: Allah SWT tidak akan membiarkan umatnya menderita karena puasa. Padahal manusia ada batasnya. Nah untuk kasus seperti ini aku penasaran sekali dan pengen tau jawabannya karena aku juga akan mengalami hal yang sama walaupun tidak separah mereka yang tinggal di daerah Arctic (Alaska, Finlandia, Swedia, Norwegia, Canada, dll).

Setelah search sana-sini, akhirnya aku menemukan ini: bahwa keterlibatan manusia diperlukan apabila tidak jelas harus bagaimana bersikap dalam situasi tertentu. Al Qur'an memberikan tuntunan hidup manusia tetapi tidak semuanya mencakup kasus-kasus khusus dalam praktek kehidupan sehari-hari. Itulah mengapa di Islam ada yang namanya Fiqh (Jurisprudence). Di Fiqh kita bisa menemukan jawaban-jawaban untuk beberapa kasus khusus seperti misalnya kasus tersebut di atas. Yaitu: bagi orang-orang yang tinggal di daerah tersebut boleh berpuasa dengan jumlah waktu puasa yang sama dengan di Mekah atau Medinah. Pendapat lain mengatakan bahwa jumlah waktu berpuasa mereka disamakan dengan jumlah waktu berpuasa di daerah terdekat mereka.

Di bawah ada beberapa link yang berkaitan dengan masalah di atas:
1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiqh
2. http://geography.about.com/od/physicalgeography/a/longestday.htm
3. http://www.thelocal.se/discuss/viewtopic.php?p=143295
4. http://worldub.blogspot.com/2007/09/spirit-of-fasting-in-islam.html
5. http://my.opera.com/Religion.Islam/blog/index.dml/tag/Ramadan
6.http://islamqa.com/index.php?ref=5842&ln=eng&txt=prayer%20in%20summer

Selanjutnya terserah kepada orang-orang tersebut termasuk aku untuk mengikuti atau tidak mengikuti pendapat di atas. Karena pada dasarnya hanya Allah SWT yang tahu kalau pendapat ini benar atau salah sehingga tidak ada seorangpun yang bisa menghakimi.

Semoga hal ini ada manfaatnya bagi teman-teman, setidaknya sebagai pengetahuan. Mohon maaf kalau ada yang kurang karena aku bukan ahli agama. Peace ;)

Friday, September 21, 2007

Kuatkah puasa di musim panas?

Sebenarnya puasa di musim panas akan terjadi kemungkinan sekitar 5 tahunan lagi kalau nggak salah hitung..hi..hi..hi..
Tapi ada pertanyaan yang selalu menghantuiku (eh emangnya setan): "Mampukah diriku berpuasa dimusim panas nanti?" Matahari tuh kalau dimusim panas baru nyungsep sekitar jam 8:30 malam. Nah buka puasa jam 6:55 aja udah lemes banget apalagi jam 8:30, gak kebayang deh gimana lemesnya.

Aku yakin Allah SWT tidak akan membiarkan umatnya menderita karena puasa. Tapi katanya manusia ada batasnya kan?! Jadi gimana dong? Pasrah?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

8 Kebiasaan Utamaku

Ceritanya aku kena tag sama Vina untuk nulis tentang 8 kebiasaan utamaku. Wahduh ternyata gampang-gampang susah bikinnya, soalnya mesti mikir dulu coba mengingat-ingat apa ya kebiasaan-kebiasaanku. Akhirnya setelah ketemu, eee yg muncul kebanyakan yang jelek-jelek...he..he...he...


Ini dia, enjoy!

1. Biasa beli Sabtu kembaliin Minggu.
Di sini ada sistem orang bisa ngembaliin barang yg udah dibeli. Enak kan?! Nah, ceritanya aku juga keenakan nih, sampai kalau beli sesuatu misalnya hari Sabtu, terus berubah pikiran, eee ... dikembaliin hari Minggunya ... hi...hi..hi...
Suami sampai geleng2 kepala, katanya: " You abuse the system!"

2. Biasa nggak bisa cepat memutuskan.
Kalau mau beli suatu barang, trus bingung ada 2 pilihan, suami jadi korban serangan pertanyaan:
Aku: "Which is the best one, the black one or the red one?"
Suami: " The black one!"
Aku: " Really? How about the red one?"
Suami: " No, the black one!"
Aku: " The black one? Are you sure?" "I think the red one is the best!"
Suami jawab sambil ketawa kesel: " Okay, the red one then!"
Aku: " Please make up your mind!" "Black or Red?"
Suami: " You're crazy!"

3. Biasa nari kalau dengar musik keren.
Can't help it! Udah bawaan bayi. Eh, nurun ke anakku yg kedua lho.

4. Biasa feel bad (Jawa: pekewuh).
Suka nggak enakan minta tolong sama orang karena takut ngrepotin. Jadi apa-apa kalau bisa dikerjain sendiri. Suami sampai bilang," Dasar wong Jowo!"

5. Suka coba resep makanan baru.
Maklum baru belajar masak ;) Kalau liat resep baru matanya langsung ijo. Orang lain mah kalau liat duit hehehe. Siap banget untuk menjelajah blog-blog yang masang resep-resep. Watch out guys ... here I come!

7. Biasa panik.
Sekarang agak lumayan paniknya. Dulu parah. Misalnya aku udah bikin list barang-barang yang harus dibawa untuk ke luar kota. Trus setelah sampai di luar kota, masih ada yg ketinggalan juga. Wah, aku langsung panik dan marah-marah nggak karu-karuan (sama diri sendiri sih marahnya). Untung suami orangnya kalem dan biasa sabar menenangkan diriku yg kesetanan.

8. Sedikit perfeksionis
Sebenarnya aku sebel sama penyakitku yg satu ini, bikin stress soalnya. Misalnya: aku lagi bikin sesuatu dan udah hampir jadi. Tiba-tiba ada kesalahan sedikit, aku biasanya akan ganti ulang mulai dari awal lagi. Ck ... ck ... ck ... uedan tenan!

The End.

Cihuy... akhirnya selesai juga! Nah, sekarang giliranku untuk gantian nge tag 8 orang yang selanjutnya nulis tentang 8 kebiasaan mereka. Nama-nama yang beruntung adalah:

1. Anneke
2. Ida Baik
3. Yossy
4. Dena Redana
5. Harrie
6. Lisa Kansas City
7. Ninis
8. HeRRu

Undang-undang Tag:
1. Each blogger must post these rules
2. Each blogger starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves
3. Bloggers that are tagged need to write on their own blog about their eight things and post these rules. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
4. Don't forget to leave them a comment telling them they've been tagged and to read ur blog.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Boston Red Sox

Last night I went to the Red Sox game with my husband, Gus, his friend, Karl, and Karl's wife Tina. It was a good game though the Red Sox lost 4-3 to the Yankees. But no matter what, Red Sox vs Yankees is always an interesting game.

Something funny happened in the middle of the game. It was in the 7th inning when Eric Hinske hit the ball off the wall. Suddenly one of the fans, a guy, ran on to the field and took Robinson Cano's hat and ran around. Security chased after him and finally tackled him and Gus said that the guy definitely went to jail. They don't tolerant fans that break the rules, and that is why they don't show fans doing that on TV.

Gus can't believe that I was at game four of the 2004 ALCS (American League Championship Series). People, including him, are still talking about it. It was one of the greatest games in Red Sox history, the one where Dave Roberts stole second in the 9th. That year, the Red Sox were baseball world champions, the first time they won since 1918.

The curse was gone. The Boston Red Sox can be the World Champions again at anytime. They look good this year. Keep believing people!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Visiting Frantz

On Labor Day weekend we went to Greenfield, Massachusetts to visit Chris and his wife, Melissa, and their children: Kyan (2.5 years old); and Mila (5 months old). Chris is one of Gus's "Helmet" friends from Duke University. Karl, Tina and their 9-month old son, Alex also came. Karl is one of the Helmet too.



We had a good time hanging out together. The fathers played wiffle ball. The kids had a blast playing in the sand box, with the bubble machine, and riding a battery-powered toy car. The mothers talked about their husbands and their children ... haaa ... women!




We had delicious chicken, salad, corn on the cob, and hamburgers for dinner. After dinner I tried Mother's Milk Tea (haaa ... I know, funny name huh?!). Melissa told me that it was special tea for breastfeeding. I never heard about it before but I really wanted to try it. Although it tasted okay, it is not my favorite. :)


We stayed at Hampton Inn, near Chris's house. The next morning we invited everybody to swim at the hotel. We had a fun swimming, nobody else was there, and we didn't get caught, so it was perfect. ;) Unfortunately, we had to leave early because Benny had a hockey game in the afternoon. Melissa said: "Thanks Anna and Gus for inviting us to swim!" Gus said: "Hey, anytime!" And everybody laughed.

Hunting camp

It is a tradition in Angus's family especially the guys to go hunting every year. Usually it is held in middle of November in the Adirondacks, in New York state. Gus doesn't hunt, but he still goes every year to hang out with his family. The camp was built by uncle Josh in ... "no idea!" Gus said.



A week ago Gus and Benny went to the camp for a work weekend. They left on Friday morning and stayed there for two and half days. That was when I called 911 because I was nervous of being alone at my house (old post: 911). Gus's job was to bring food; he made beef stew, marinated steaks, brought some bread, snacks, and beverages.


They were building an addition to the camp. The other guys were: Steve (hunting buddy from Skaneateles), our cousin Alex's husband, Steve, and his two sons, Will and Nat; and cousin Jace, who was the team leader. Benny was very excited to be there, because he had two friends to play with.



When they got home from camp on Sunday, it was in the middle of the night. Gus and Benny were very dirty and they had a lot of dirty and wet laundry... ayayay! Benny was very tired and half sleeping when I helped him take a bath.



The next morning Gus told me that everyone worked very hard in the rain and when they left, the addition still needed a lot of work. Gus also said that the camp is not designed for women. Starting with: there is no electricity! Hmm, I am getting suspicious, what's next ... There is no shower ... omigosh! But luckily there is a river next to the camp (... uhm ... okay, I started to giggle). And there is no toilet (... whaaat? Haaaa!) I had been jealous of Gus every time he went to hunting camp. I thought the place was an exciting vacation house. So for me, it would be a disaster! Haaaa ...

You can see more pictures here.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Marhaban ya Ramadhan!

Kepada seluruh umat muslim, kami sekeluarga mengucapkan: "Selamat menunaikan ibadah puasa, semoga puasanya lancar dan diterima Allah SWT, amin!" "Mohon maaf lahir dan batin!"

Anna, Angus, Benny dan Thia

Doa niat berpuasa:
"Nawaitu shauma ghodin an'adaai fardli syahri ramadlaani haadzihis sanati lillaahi ta'alaa"

Jadwal puasa (sama dengan jadwal sholat) bisa dilihat di sini

The Other Boleyn Girl

The Other Boleyn Girl is a tale about rivalry between the Boleyn sisters to get love from King Henry VIII.

In the glamorous Tudor English court, Mary Boleyn was the king's lover but she had to step aside for her sister, Anne Boleyn, because of her family's ambition and the king's lust.

I could not leave the book alone because I kept wondering what will happen next. It was fascinating, I even felt my heart beat as the book neared the end.

The Other Boleyn Girl was told beautifully and is perfect for people who love to read historical novels and true stories. Highly recommend!

911

My heart was pounding, somebody was knocking my front door. I was home alone with Thia, Gus and Benny were out of town for two nights. I tried hard to be brave and tried to look outside to see who it was. I saw a police man, but that didn't make me calm. I was still afraid, he might be pretending to be a police man (too much watching court tv!).

After a short prayer, finally, I opened the door, and asked him what he wanted. Thanks God, he was a real police man. He said that somebody in my house called 911 and hung up. Oh my God ... I realized that I did dial 911, but I didn't think it rang.

Earlier, I was afraid of being alone in my house with my daughter, so I checked if my telephone could dial 911. I was embarrassed and apologized to the police officer a hundred times. The police man was nice. He said he would rather have a false alarm than a real one. He wrote down my name, d.o.b, my phone number, my address. And then he left.

The worst is: this was actually the third time a police man came to my house for a false alarm. The first time, my son Benny, when he was 1 year old, called 911 at my in-law's house. The second time was when we just moved to our new house and I forgot how to turn off the alarm system. Oops ...

When I told my husband about it, he laughed so hard, he thought it was funny. I laughed too. Omigosh ... it was pathetic. Geez ...

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Benny's First Day of Kindergarten

Tuesday, September 4th, Benny woke up at 7:30 am, made his bed and took a shower. Then he had macaroni and cheese for breakfast with Thia. After breakfast, Benny grabbed his old back pack and got in the car. Gus thought it will be better if we keep Benny's new transformer back pack and lunch box until his birthday. At 8:35 am Thia and I took him to his school at Playmates, in Sandown. "Yay ... I am going to kindergarten!" shouted Benny excitedly.

After Thia and I went "fun" shopping at the grocery store, we picked up Benny at 11:30 am. On the way home I asked Benny the usual questions:
"Did you have fun at school, Benny?"
"Yes!" Benny said.
"What did you do at school?" I asked him again.
"Umm ... I forget!" Benny said, the usual answer.
"What about the pin on your shirt, was that your school project?" I tried to remind him.
"O, yes, I made this at school, do you like it, Ibu?" he asked me curiously.
I giggled when I read the sign on the pin: "I survived the first day of kindergarten."
"I love it! Good job Benny!" I said proudly.

Benny's teacher, Mrs. Dooley gave the students some homework for September. I asked Benny to do one homework assignment after he had lunch. But after he did one assignment, he wanted to do another one. And after the second one was done, he still wanted more. He said, "I love homework!" " Homework is easy!"
I laughed and said "Good Benny, keep it that way, I am so proud of you!" Then he went to ride his bike.

I can't believe Benny is already in kindergarten. "Benny please stop growing ... I want you to be our baby forever ..." Off course I am just kidding, but it's scary isn't it - watching our kids growing fast ;)