Tag Archives: Gardens by the Bay

Grandma Meets Toddler

Thanks to the marvel of Skype technology, we’re able to keep in touch with our family without feeling too deprived or lonely separated by, oh, half the world between us! However, there’s nothing like sharing life in person.

My mom made it out back in 2012 to visit us her grandson, but this time the grandson is a grown up toddler! Here are some of the highlights from her stay with us.

Everyday life

While seeing some of the grand destinations that Singapore has to offer is fun, really the best part of visiting is sharing every day life. Incorporating my mom into our daily routines and giving her a [second] taste of Singapore was what made her visit special. Now when we catch up with one another while we’re apart she’ll be better able to picture what our lives are like even though we’re on the other side of the world.

Reading a book.

It didn’t take long for the grandson to realize that while Mommy was busy with household chores, his Grandma was only too happy to spend time reading books with him. To add to the treat he received quite a few new books from the doting grandma. Grandma also introduced him to the past time of coloring.

A veteran colorer teaching the novice.

Of course our daily routing in Singapore included a lot of “normal” things like going for walks.

Gideon leading the way while Daddy and Grandma try to keep up the pace.

And much of the time the walks involve a little toddler control or perhaps a dash of playful chasing!

The chase is on!

The downside to all this activity is that it is always summer here. Though my mom would argue that isn’t a downside at all. Despite which point of view of the pros of summer one holds, one would probably concede that walking, running, or otherwise in Singapore outside results in a hot sweaty mess. Thankfully there is a temporary remedy for such sticky situations:

Ice cream covers a multitude of problems.

Ice cream is good, but thankfully it isn’t the only way to escape the heat. (Good thing too, or our stomachs would show our predicament!)

Quick snap the picture, then come in to help play with the toddler!

But not all of our day to day actions are quite so laborious as chasing a toddler or making sure the toddler had adequate support in the pool. And ice cream and water aren’t the only ways to forget about the uncomfortable humidity and heat. Some of best moments during the days, rain or shine, are spontaneous hugs and snuggles.

A cute hug. Need I say more?

And if you’re paying attention to the above pictures you’ll not that there is a distinct theme that came about because of the nature of the visitor. And that theme would be Grandma Green!

A bit of green wasn’t hard to find while my mom was with us.

Now on to the unique points of our time together

Gardens By the Bay

Although my mom would’ve been happy as a clam to sit at home every day reading, coloring, and snuggling with a 15 month old, she did politely request to see Gardens By the Bay. She did fly umpteen many miles, the least we could do was bring her to the beautiful gardens (twist our arms!).

The first glimpse of the GBTB.

Visiting the Gardens gave us a good excuse to catch a glimpse of the Marina Bay Sands – the backdrop of the gardens.

Letting our visiting tourist snap some shots.

Although the sites were spectacular, I think Gideon was more impressed with the grassy area where we allowed him to run around freely.

Freedom!

One of the advantages about visiting a touristy location is that there are always several strangers that are only too eager to stop and help us with a group shot!

Probably my favorite group shot from the visit.

It is amazing how neat the view becomes when you take the elevator up to the top of the trees for the Sky Walk.

Marina Bay Sands again – this time from a little higher.

But, really to be honest, everywhere on the grounds, high or low, at Gardens by The Bay provides a beautiful backdrop or subject for scenery.

Me and my Mom – The first of many treasured mother-daughter shots.

After eating a lunch outdoors we sought refuge from the heat in the coolness of the Cloud Forest.

Getting up close to the cool spray of the waterfall for a fun shot. (Almost like this visit.)

My mom didn’t care as much as we did for the cooler temperatures, but she did care when it came to the gorgeous tropical flowers all around her!

What do you know! We match the flowers!

Gideon slept through the first of the green houses but woke up in time to enjoy going through the second, the Flower Dome.

3 generations

I could go on and on, but let me allow the pictures to talk for themselves.

Pictures from both domes.

Though we had seen a lot we had time to stop at the newly opened water park to let the little guy have some fun.

Sprinklers galore!

Suffice to say my mom was glad that she put the Gardens By The Bay on her list.

Bird Park

We also visited the bird park again during my mom’s stay. I think she enjoyed the greenery and flowers almost as much as the birds.

Guess who found some orchids!

As Andrew was only able to spend part of the time with us before heading off to work, he requested that we first visit the Lori Loft. My mom was in for a surprise when she saw birds clambering to Andrew to take a sip of his offerings. It took a bit of encouragement but both of the ladies in the group were convinced to try feeding the birds once we were reasonable sure they would stay on the railing and not claw their way onto our arms!

Feeding the birds.

My mom and I remarked that after awhile you start to become numb at the sheer variety and impressiveness of the birds on display! The bird park really is amazing. (And Gideon thought their play area was amazing too!)

Backed by the largest manmade waterfall in the world.

After a long day, and a short break at home, none of us had the energy to tackle preparing dinner. So we took the opportunity to introduce my mom to an Asian adventure: Sushi! (Complete with the conveyor belt.)

Don’t worry all the plates aren’t solely from my mom.

Despite not trying the raw fish sushi, she thoroughly enjoyed her time at Sushi Express!

Singapore Flyer

We worked out that this had probably been Gideon’s forth or fifth time on the famous ferris wheel (the advantages of free admission for the little guy)!

So blessed he doesn’t realize it.

But it was Maureen’s first time on the big wheel, and it was her first time seeing the city lights of Singapore at night.

Rapt with attention.

I have to say, even though I have been on the flyer quite a few times (the advantage of having visitors and being able to obtain passes through Andrew’s work) … the city still looks great lit up at night!

Isn’t that pretty!?

After the “flight” on the Singapore Flyer, Gideon and Grandma felt like they were ready to direct the flight.

Mrs. Pilot and her assistant, Mr. Cute.

Okay, maybe not quite – but it was so cute, I had to chuckle.

SEA Aquarium

Our final special outing that we saved was the Aquarium. We had heard many rave reviews of the new aquarium from our friends since the attraction opened late 2012. (I don’t know why we didn’t realize it was already open when we had all our other visitors last year! Oh well. If you’re one of them, you know who you are, come visit us again and we’ll take you there. 😉 )

In order to visit the Aquarium, we had to get to Sentosa – the resort island of Singapore.

Mom’s first time, and our first time in almost 2 years.

Oh my – the aquarium was amazing!

Big observatory windows into the world of fish!

I really don’t think our pictures of the vastness of the view of the home to these sea creatures would do it justice. So let’s focus on the pictures that show off our enjoyment of the visit to the world’s largest Oceanarium.

Look up and all around!

Taken in one of the tunnels.

Reminds me of our Barcelona trip.

The aquarium really was stunning. I can’t say enough.

The variety of God’s creation is incredible.

I could’ve spent many hours gawking at the ocean creatures right in front of my eyes … if I didn’t have an important toddler to keep occupied. So eventually we had to leave the ocean behind us and head outside to see some of the rest of Sentosa.

A merlion shot for the books.

I don’t know how to sum up my mom’s visit or adequately share all the pictures while being concise, so I’ll end my post here. But I just want to take a moment to thank my mom:

Mom, thanks for coming. We made so many memories. I can’t thank you enough for visiting and sharing our life here in Singapore together with us. Can’t wait till we see you again.

The last group shot before the visit came to an end.

Image

Day 40/365: Feb 9, 2014

I’m thankful for:

  • Beautiful creation.
  • A beautiful mom to share it with!
  • Our shirts coordinating with the flowers.

Mother, daughter, and flowers @ The Cloud Dome

Uncle Nate Visits Singapore

I’ve contemplated how to write this post since a month ago. I’ve gone through the pictures multiple times trying to figure out how to piece it together in a concise manner. And I’ve had the beginnings of the post written for several days. I have come to this conclusion:
We had too much fun with Uncle Nate to be able to share it all with you!

Maybe, some day I’ll get around to putting pictures together in a booklet like we did for our last visitors. One can hope, right? But I digress. I am going to try to pick my favorite snippets from his stay. Here goes:

Meeting Uncle Nate

For someone that has quite a few uncles, Gideon had to wait a while before he actually met one of them in person. Actually, he had waited his whole life, until finally at the beginning of last month, he met one!

It was Gidoen’s mommy who first spotted him at the airport.

Spotted (only in the number one airport in the world)!

Spotted (only in the number one airport in the world)!

The wary traveler looked great for having just completed his first flight(s) (except for one when he was Gideon’s age)! Since it was in the wee hours of the morning when he arrived, we went straight home and to bed. Consequently, Gideon was actually asleep for his arrival. But he was more than happy to meet him the next morning.

Happy to meet his Uncle Nate!

Happy to meet his Uncle Nate!

It didn’t take long for the little guy to warm up to his cool uncle.

Ice Cream Sandwich

Most of the ice cream cart vendors will sell ice cream sandwiches served two ways: in between two wafer biscuits or using real bread for the sandwich part! I’ve tried a lot of things here in Singapore, a lot of ice cream too… but I haven’t had a ice cream sandwich that way. Well, it wasn’t long (second day of his visit) before we were out and about and stopped to offer him an ice cream sandwich. The adventuresome traveler readily tried the “Singapore” way.

Trying the Singapore Ice Cream Sandwich

Trying the Singapore Ice Cream Sandwich

I have to say that I really enjoyed the bit he shared with me. I would even order it again, this time without being so skeptical. But, the Randles played it safe and shared a cone from McD’s.

Playing it safe (if all be it messy)

Playing it safe (if all be it messy)

Boggle – Phlegm

There is a long standing tradition in the Czebotar household of playing boggle against each other. Unfortunately, the tradition doesn’t work so well in the Randles household. (Let’s just say, the brainy PhD guy doesn’t find Boggle quite the right application for his mad skills 😉 ). In any case, I jumped at the opportunity to play with someone who would enjoy the game.

On night during his visit, my brother accepted my invitation and we started playing with rigor right away. A few games in we were going over our word list and my brother calls out “Flem.”

I responded, “Ummm, I think Phlegm has a G in it.” (There wasn’t a G on the board that round.)

To which he outrageously shouted, “WHAT!? HOW IN THE WORLD DOES “FLEM” HAVE A G IN IT?”

We proceeded to use the dictionary to find out two things:

  1. Phlegm (the meaning he was thinking of) does in fact have a G in it.
  2. Flem (what he spelt) does have the same meanings as Flemish.

After several rounds, it was getting late, so I said we should call it a night. My brother was dismayed that he hadn’t won a round. I was shocked, sure that he had won a round. We went through and double checked the scores. His hunch was right – he hadn’t. I felt bad, especially since I had been thoroughly enjoying his company and had thought he was doing quite well. (This is why people give up playing Boggle with me… <sigh>)

Bro and Sis (picture from another night)

Bro and Sis (picture from another night)

A treasured memory with my bro nonetheless.

The Iconic Sights

You can not have a brother who has a Masters in architecture who visits you in Singapore and not visit the awesome architectural sites that have become so iconic! It’s like the fourth law of physics … or something.

Anyways, among the many cool places we took him to see we saw the Marina Bay Sands and the Gardens by the Bay – both next to each other – on separate days.

I think his shirt was an accurate statement.x

On the Sky Walk on the trees of the Gardens By the Bay in front of the Marina Bay Sands building… I think his shirt was an accurate statement.

We had to take a group shot!

We had to take a group shot!

GIdeon enjoying crawling around with the magnificent tree sculptures overhead.

GIdeon enjoying crawling around with the magnificent tree sculptures overhead.

Looking up at the biggest cantilever building in the world. (Correct me if I'm wrong, bro!)

Looking up at the biggest cantilever building in the world. (Correct me if I’m wrong, bro!)

At the top of Marina Bay Sands on the cantilever.

At the top of Marina Bay Sands on the cantilever.

MacRitchie Reservoir

While I prepared cakes for a baby shower, the guys all went to MacRitchie Reservoir for a hike. I was a bit jealous as we hadn’t gone since right after moving to Singapore, and I had been hoping to see it again. But I was grateful they went together and had fun. It was one of the highlights for Andrew of the visit with his brother-in-law.

Andrew enjoying the hike (and Gideon zonked out)

Andrew (and Gideon zonked out) at the Tree Top Bridge

And Nathan was glad that he got to see wild monkeys during their walk in the jungle.

Monkey spotted! (There were more too!)

Monkey spotted! (There were more too!)

Durian

I’m ashamed to say it, but we had lived in Singapore for over 2 years and never tried “Singapore’s National Fruit.” In our defense, every time someone would offer it we would ask if they liked it. Maybe just the wrong people were offering, but they would always demonstrate a face of disgust and say, “No.” So, we were intimidated, even by the people who said we should try it. And then there’s the smell – which is a bit indescribable but oh, so potent!

In any case, we figured we should do it while we had a visitor. We also figured it would be safer to try a cream puff with durian flavored cream inside.

It looks unassuming.

It looks unassuming.

Oh. My.

One of the worst things I have ever tasted in my life. And I am not trying to be dramatic. It was just that bad. I normally try to finish what I put in my mouth, but I could not. The trash received what we had put in our mouths. Even Gideon the Garbage Disposal wouldn’t eat it.

And his reaction wasn't as bad as his parents'!

And his reaction wasn’t as bad as his parents’!

To Nathan’s credit, he willingly tried it, and didn’t have the same visceral reaction that we did!

A friend later informed me that she thought there were two styles of durian, sweet and bitter. If that information is indeed true, there is no doubt we had the bitter kind. Perhaps there is a better variety out there? But I am unsure if we would have the courage to try it again.

But don’t worry. That was the only “sour” point during our visit together. We really had a blast with my brother and are so glad the Lord made it possible for him to visit. If anyone else comes to visit, we’ll try to make their visit half as fun (trying Durian is optional). 🙂

Down by the Bay

When we were little, Tam and I used to sing a song a silly song entitled “Down By The Bay”

“Down by the bay,

where the watermelons grow,

back to my home,

I dare not go.

For if I do,

my mother will say… <insert verse>

… Down by the bay.”

I was reminded of that song since we were downtown this weekend several times. And many of the times we were “Down by the Bay.” On Thursday we went to the Flyer which is next to the Marina Bay. In preparation for their bike race on Sunday, on Saturday Andrew and Tamarah had to drop off their bikes and pick up their registration packets right near the Flyer. Since they were already downtown, Gideon and I met up with them at Gardens By the Bay. On Sunday they had their race and we were all once again downtown by the bay.

But let me not get ahead of myself. The purpose of this post is to share pictures of our visit to Gardens by the Bay. (Bike race pictures to come later 🙂 )

You can see how the Flyer and the Gardens are fairly close together

You can see how the Flyer and the Gardens are fairly close together

It was nice to visit the Gardens without an agenda but to enjoy the sights and the family.

The Sky and the Skywalk

The Sky and the Skywalk

I’m glad we weren’t set on anything in particular because due to rain/thunder they closed the skywalk a little while after we arrived. That’s okay, you don’t need fancy skywalks to have fun. Tamarah was even able to one of her favorite pasttimes: horseback riding!

Riding a very calm horse

Riding a very calm horse

I’m not much for riding horses, but I do have my own silly streak:

Getting friendly with plants and making faces

Getting friendly with plants and making faces

Gideon was asleep when Aunt Tammy was riding horses, but he still wanted to have a ride, so Daddy let him ride on him!

Riding on Daddy and playing in the air

Riding on Daddy and playing in the air

And of course we couldn’t let a beautiful day and matching t-shirts go to waste without taking some family shots!

Matching shirts and matching smiles

Matching shirts and matching smiles

Gideon even offered to take a shot of us while we stood in front of the Marina Bay Sands.

Gideon (or the tripod on the stroller) takes pretty good shots!

Gideon (or the tripod on the stroller) takes pretty good shots!

I think we each took turns taking shots.

You can't see the SG on our shirts so our shirts read "I heart heat" - true indeed

You can’t see the SG on our shirts so our shirts read “I heart heat” – true indeed

But don’t worry, we asked a stranger to take a shot so we could get all of us in the picture.

Enjoying time together

Enjoying time together, but Gideon wishing he had a I ❤ SG shirt.

I think Gideon was disappointed that he didn't have a matching shirt!

It was hard for Gideon to look at Tammy with all the rest of the people walking around

It was a great day to spend down by the bay.

Day by the bay...

Day by the bay…

Impromptu Visitors by the Bay

The Gardens by the Bay were still under construction during Jehiah & Selam’s last visit. Now that it is open, we figured it was a good sight seeing opportunity.

The impressively tall tree sculptures!

These gardens are an excellent representation of how quickly Singapore puts up new “icons” and is eager to accept change. Although the gardens are still new, it is striking how much thought and planning is evident in their choice and implementation of greenery. I am sure it will only continue to grow in beauty as the vegetation matures!

The vegetation might mature… but I don’t know if we will 😉

After uniquely carrying Selam, Jehiah then switched to the other girl in his life and carried Namoi on his shoulders for a while. Even though Naomi was taller than the rest of us, we all still looked small compared to the trees!

The result of a friendly stranger’s hard work = group shot 🙂

Naomi is still working on getting the hang of posing, but sometimes she does it just right:

Three people, three smiles!

Although Andrew and I had been to Gardens by the Bay before, we hadn’t yet gotten to see the greenhouses there. We figured that visitors, like the lovely Czebotar’s, were a good enough reason to purchase admission to the greenhouses.

Andrew and I even got a discount for being “locals” – Sweet!

What we didn’t know until we bought the tickets was that as a perk you also got beautifully cold climate controlled air when when you walked into the dome! I, being the “ready to pop” pregnant woman, thought this wonderful. Selam, who came to Singapore eager to get back to the summer temperatures, did not think this was worth paying for! It probably didn’t help her, that the blast of cold air was accompanied by a cool mist from:

The indoor waterfalls!

Ever since we started dating, Andrew and I have made a tradition of getting our picture taken in front of waterfalls. This counted as a good opportunity.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t hold my composure long enough to get a calm shot. Oh well.

The grand centerpiece of the Cloud Forest (the name of the greenhouse/dome) was a large mound covered in flowers and fauna. It was from this mount that the waterfalls jutted out of, in addition to multiple walkways and peek-a-boo cubbies.

Reason to look up!

Thankfully elevators were available to ride to the top so we could walk in/around the “mound.”

Walking on one of the walkways suspended several stories in the air.

It was fun to look in and out of the dome.

Looking “in” at the Czebotar’s

Looking “out” at the Randles

Not everyone had the same enjoyment of the dome. I LOVED the cool air (especially the spots where the jets of air were especially cold!). Selam, while she enjoyed her time, was ready to go back outside. And, there were some who didn’t seem to be enjoying their time there… at all. Take this couple for example:

Close, yet so far, friends

Somehow one bird had gotten inside. He couldn’t find his way back to his friend, who was on the outside. They stood their squawking at one another to no avail.

And then there was Naomi. She was content enough. But she was ready for a break and a snack. Thankfully after mommy gave her a snack, she was much happier. Papa helped revive her spirits too:

So happy she had to stick BOTH hands in her mouth while she was giggling!

Refueled by a snack of peanuts, dried mangos, and a CapriSun we were ready to tackle the second greenhouse: The Flower Dome.

The first section of the Flower Dome was filled with cacti and other desert type plants.

Don’t these plants look like something Dr. Seuss would be inspired by???

Thankfully though, the rest of the Flower Dome had plenty of flowers. (Spoiler warning for our moms: The flowers her were pretty. Maybe not as breathtakingly overwhelming as the orchid garden, but pretty nonetheless! Worth coming to Singapore for?)

Some of the many flowers from the two domes

Although there were lots of flowers to look at, we paused long enough to have Selam take our picture.

The cute couple & the cute bump…

By now, Naomi was running out of stamina. (I can’t blame the poor girl, it was a lot to take in!) So we took a break. The break was long enough for Selam to get captured by a menacing carving!

Jehiah to the rescue!

Okay, so the shot was staged. The point of it was really to recapture a shot from their last visit when we went to the Night Safari.

Ready to head back, Jehiah & Selam were kind enough to let us stay a few minutes longer so that we could see the trees one more time… this time lit up at night.

The Garden’s Tree’s at Night

With that, we were all tired out enough to head back home.

Now our guests have come and gone. What we are left with is some wonderful memories! All that visiting and the walking during our outings didn’t seem to bother Little Randles – he decided he still wasn’t going to come out to greet our visitors. It’s getting close to two weeks later, and he still hasn’t showed up! Thankfully, that has allowed me the time to finish putting these pictures/posts together. But, Little Randles, it’s really okay, you can come out now! 🙂

24 Birthday Blessings

My 24th birthday was wonderful! Here are 24 highlights from the day (or from the 36 hrs, if you count where I live and where I was born…)

1. French Toast

Andrew knows that I love french toast… and it’s something we aren’t making as often recently since only I would be the one to eat it. (It’s not exactly a low-carb breakfast, but he even found a way to make a good low-carb alternative for himself. I had the high-carb, made with real french bread option.) A delicious breakfast, and such a way for my husband to make my day start off in a special way before he headed off to work.

2. Getting Dressed

I am so thankful for my early birthday gift: a wardrobe of maternity clothes that I got to pick out with my mom. Now I have OPTIONS for things that look cute and fit me; not to mention the memories made spending time with my mom shopping 🙂

3. My Younger Brother

My younger brother contacted me to wish me happy birthday while it was only my birthday. He was slightly emphatic that I remember that he was indeed the FIRST of my 7 siblings to wish me happy birthday on my actual birthday.

4. Birthday Phone Calls

My mom & sister (#4) call to wish me happy birthday.

5. Brother-not-to-be-out-done

My other brother (#2), wishes me happy birthday as soon as midnight passes on the East Coast. He was eager to point out that he was the first one to wish me (at 12:01) happy birthday while it was my birthday in BOTH time zones.

6. Piano Guys Video

One of my favorite YouTube sensations: The Piano Guys came out with a new song/video.

Not only is it a fantastic video, but it features the piano in a spectacular way.

7. Husband Takes Afternoon Off

Around lunch time, I met up with Andrew, who, of his own accord, took off the afternoon so he could celebrate my Birthday. We went to Marina Bay Sands and walked around before finding lunch.

The iconic “ship in the sky” – amongst other things located inside, there’s a fancy mall to walk in 🙂

While walking around we saw this unusual sight:

Only in Marina Bay Sands do they build a special “river” where you can be rowed indoors!

8. Chocolate Mousse (for lunch!)

Since I had had a filling breakfast and had a snack before leaving the house, I wasn’t that hungry for lunch. Although there were a plethora of options at the food court, I really couldn’t decide on a meal. Then Andrew pointed out that there was chocolate mousse at one of the shops. BINGO! One of my weaknesses is chocolate mousse. Andrew new this and suggested the chocolate mousse.

Not one of the healthiest “lunch” options… but maybe one of the yummiest?

9. Gardens by the Bay

Andrew finally revealed the location for our afternoon adventures: Gardens by the Bay

Gardens By The Bay – the newly opened gardens behind the Marina Bay Sands

10. Skyway

For $5 we went up to the incredible Skyway.

Skyway at the Gardens by the Bay

The view was gorgeous!

The vibrant view from the Skyway

The Flower Dome at the gardens with The Flyer behind it

11. Only Sprinkles

It had rained on my way to meet Andrew. However, it only sputtered the rest of the afternoon. This meant the park/garden was nice and empty (and fairly cool). I was thankful that even though we brought an umbrella, it didn’t need to be used the whole afternoon.

12. Techy Husband’s Phone

You can’t spend a whole afternoon together and not take a fun self-portrait. (Well maybe you can, but anyways…) Thankfully Andrew’s phone let us preview the picture while using the camera on the front of the phone.

Birthday self-shot: Smile!

As good as self-shots are, it’s nice to have strangers take photos too:

Not bad for a shot taken my a stranger!

13. Lack of Traffic

We were sure we would hit rush hour traffic – but it really wasn’t so bad. I guess we beat the rush! Phew.

14. Zucchini Lasagna

Lasanga is one of my favorite meals. However, since I have it most birthdays, we figured we would take the opportunity to mix it up. Andrew made ahead a crockpot version with Zucchini as the “noodles.” It turned out quite scrumptiously.

15. Voicemails

During the course of evening, we realized that my sister (#2) & sister-in-law left voicemails wishing me happy birthday. Too bad I didn’t talk to them, but it was still great to have them wish me happy birthday.

16. New Soufflé Dishes

I have always wanted to try making a soufflé. I have never had the dishes or the know-how. Yesterday I bought myself a birthday gift of cute soufflé dishes.

Aren’t they pretty!?

The new dishes provided the perfect opportunity to convince Andrew (for the second year in a row) to let me make my own birthday dessert. (Don’t get me wrong, I trust Andrew’s baking abilities… I just enjoy baking.)

17. Oldest sister calls

While I was making dessert my oldest sister (#1) called! She wins the distinction of being the first to “sing” to me on my special day 🙂

18. Birthday Gifts

The hubby found time to pick out and purchase gifts that he kept a surprise. He even wrapped them up. (Can you tell that he earned points?)

A new spice grinder – just one of the cool gifts he got me!

19. Birthday Dessert

Mmm – the Raspberry Soufflés  (slightly modified version of 1/2 of this recipe) turned out deliciously.

They worked! But I forgot to take a picture afterwards. Oh well, putting up a picture of them in my oven is motivation to clean my oven soon so that I don’t have to put up more dirty-oven-pictures.

My only complaint, and this surprised me, was that they were a little too raspberry-ish. Otherwise, a great dessert success!

20. Rocky Road Ice-cream

I was too full for a second dessert course. However, no reason I can’t look forward to eating one of my gifts from Andrew:

Dreyer’s = Eddy’s

Note: This container is about half the size of a regular Eddy’s ice cream carton in the States, but about twice as expensive!

21. Facebook

My final sister (#3) wished me happy birthday on Facebook along with several friends. It was a sweet thing to read before going to bed.

22. Sweetly Exhausted

I am glad I had the energy to make it through such a wonderful birthday. But at the end of the day, I was so tired, I had trouble keeping my eyes opened.

23. “Twin” Brother Emails Me

Right after I fall into bed, my brother (#1) that shares the same birthday (okay, so he’s older… we’re not really “twins”) sends me an email reply. Oh well, a nice thing to wake up to the day after my birthday. And it means that either spoke to or was contacted by each one of my siblings on my birthday. Sweet!

24. Extending the Birthday Celebration

This morning the sweet Dutch family I tutor for gave me a home-made card and gift complete with [non-low-carb] pound cake! Of course, I had to remember it was still actually my birthday on the East Coast… so I could still celebrate, right? 🙂

My Gift – “Undersetters” (the Dutch word for “coasters” makes so much more sense than the English translation!)

I have so much to be thankful for! Now, the next year milestone: “quarter of a century” (as my husband puts it).