Postcards from St Andrew’s Church, Abu Dhabi

At St Andrew’s Church in Abu Dhabi, I met and entertained many children. I feel that “the sky lovingly smiles on the earth and her children,” quoting Sir Henry Morton Stanley.

Christmas Postcards St Andrew's Church Abu Dhabi UAE servicefromheart Jesus cross

The present St Andrew’s Church was built in 1984 on a land generously donated by the Late H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan of the Al Nahyan ruling family. The area is known as the Churches area in Abu Dhabi.

Christmas Postcards St Andrew's Church Abu Dhabi UAE servicefromheart

The website of the St Andrew’s Church mentioned that “somebody once described St Andrew’s church as Evangelical in the pulpit, Catholic at the altar and Charismatic in the pews”, to highlight their diversity.

It is likely that baby Ren will be interested in the St Andrew’s Playgroup (Monday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings, between 9.30am and 11.30am) with the entry fee of AED 15  per parent/carer, for children regardless of nationality or religion.

Christmas Postcards St Andrew's Church Abu Dhabi UAE servicefromheart

In the autumn 2014, I started to study the Bible daily and have crafted prayers or made simple take-home messages. Once I complete studying the Bible, I plan to study Al Quran, as envisioned in our lifelong curriculum.

Christmas Postcards St Andrew's Church Abu Dhabi UAE servicefromheart

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In the summer 2003, I almost became an angel as a mascot for inter-school games. Siew Hwey had kindly made the feathery-like cotton wings and the angel halo headband, but in the end those items were not used.

Patience is a virtue. Never lose hope. The universe will choose the right time and the right place to answer your desire. You kind, loving, inspiring desire is your prayer.

This afternoon, I became an angel – without wings, who told a Christmas story to children. I am very grateful for the opportunity to serve children – our hope for the future, and to share messages of love and hope. Yes, a messenger of everything lifeward and positive. The English word “angel” comes from the Greek angelos, which means ‘messenger’.

Christmas Postcards St Andrew's Church Abu Dhabi UAE servicefromheart audience

Christmas Postcards St Andrew's Church Abu Dhabi UAE servicefromheart hi angel
The little girl was excited to see an angel. 

Thanks to Dewi for firstly inviting me to contribute in the early Merry Christmas celebration, Laura for the help with the costume, the storytelling equipment (torchlight and colorful pictures) and the gifts for the courageous and lucky children who did well in the post-story Q&A session.

Christmas Postcards St Andrew's Church Abu Dhabi UAE servicefromheart angel

According to Jerry A. Coyne PhD, 77% of Americans believe in angels. Do you believe in angels and miracles?

Upon seeing me in the angel costume, Alice (a little girl who just went to Moyenne Island, Seychelles) remarked, “she is not an angle, she is a girl.” It stroke me. Later, Alice told me that she loves the story told by the angel – me.

Perhaps, real people in angle costumes only work for toddlers. A young toddler whose name is Atara, curiously tried to touch me. She loves the pendants of my necklace too, as I realized when I carried her.

Christmas Postcards St Andrew's Church Abu Dhabi UAE servicefromheart angels

Christmas Postcards St Andrew's Church Abu Dhabi UAE servicefromheart angels dance

From the pamphlet, I also learned about a mnemonic of LIGHT.
L = Love (kasih)
I = Integrity (integritas)
G = Generosity (kemurahan)
H = Humility (kerendahan hati)
T = Truth (kebenaran)

♥ ♥ ♥

Here is a recap of Christmas service for the children.

Christmas Postcards St Andrew's Church Abu Dhabi UAE servicefromheart  christmas tree

Christmas Postcards St Andrew's Church Abu Dhabi UAE servicefromheart candles

The first song was Jingle Bells.

Dashing through the snow
In a one horse open sleigh
O’er the fields we go
Laughing all the way
Bells on bob tails ring
Making spirits bright
What fun it is to laugh and sing
A sleighing song tonight

Oh, jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way
Oh, what fun it is to ride
In a one horse open sleigh
Jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way
Oh, what fun it is to ride
In a one horse open sleigh

A day or two ago
I thought I’d take a ride
And soon Miss Fanny Bright
Was seated by my side
The horse was lean and lank
Misfortune seemed his lot
We got into a drifted bank
And then we got upsot


I always love the classic Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

Hark! The herald angels sing
Glory to the newborn King
Peace on earth and mercy mild
God and sinners reconcile.
Joyful all ye nations rise
Join the triumph of the skies;
With the angelic host proclaim
‘Christ is born in Bethlehem’
Hark! the herald angels sing
Glory to the newborn King.

Christ by highest heaven adored
Christ the everlasting Lord
Late in time behold him come,
Offspring of a virgin’s womb.
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see;
Hail, the incarnate deity,
Pleased as Man with Man to dwell,
Jesus, our Emmanuel!
Hark! the herald angels sing,
Glory to the newborn King.

Hail, the heaven-born Prince of peace!
Hail the Son of righteousness!
Light and life to all he brings,
Risen with healing in his wings.
Mild he lays his glory by,
Born that man no more may die,
Born to raise the sons of earth,
Born to give them second birth.
Hark! the herald angels sing,
Glory to the newborn King.

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing sung by a children’s choir:

A way in a manger

You can listen to a story entitled “Let Your Light Shine” narrated by Jing@servicefromheart.

Happy birthday Jesus (with a link from Laura)

Happy birthday, Jesus
I’m so glad it’s Christmas
All the tinsel and lights
And the presents are nice
But the real gift is You
Happy birthday, Jesus
I’m so glad it’s Christmas
All the carols and bells
Make the holiday swell
And it’s all about You
Happy birthday, Jesus
Jesus I love You

Christmas Postcards St Andrew's Church Abu Dhabi UAE servicefromheart cake

Silent Night

Silent Night by a children’s choir

Silent night! holy night!
All is calm all is bright
Round yon virgin mother and child
Holy infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace!
Sleep in heavenly peace
Silent night! holy night!
Shepherds quake at the sight
Glories stream from heaven afar
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia
Christ the Saviour is born
Christ the Saviour is born!

♥ ♥ ♥

Christmas Postcards St Andrew's Church Abu Dhabi UAE servicefromheart children smiles innocent

Christmas Postcards St Andrew's Church Abu Dhabi UAE servicefromheart

Christmas Postcards St Andrew's Church Abu Dhabi UAE servicefromheart

“The greatest gifts you can give your children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence.” ~ Denis Waitley

Christmas Postcards St Andrew's Church Abu Dhabi UAE servicefromheart

While I greatly love to take photographs of people, they are also among the most challenging ones, especially children. There are a number of shots of mine that captured the joyful or amazed expressions of our little friends, but the photos turned out to be out of focus.

This morning, a girlfriend flying to Abu Dhabi today inquired me what things that I want her to get for me from Kuala Lumpur. At that time, I want nothing, but her safe flight.

However, after going through some of the photographs that I took at the St Andrew’s Church, how I wish I could have a light-field / plenoptic camera manufactured by Lytro, founded by Yi Ren Ng PhD. I hope that its price of US$399 will decrease so that more people can afford it. This is going to be my Christmas gift wish list!

By the way, I enjoyed Ng’s Stanford thesis and summarized it in a wordcloud.

Christmas Postcards St Andrew's Church Abu Dhabi UAE servicefromheart Ren Ng light field camera thesis Lytro

With love,


Postcards from Singapore Central Fire Station

We respect firemen and female firefighters. The latter are a minority in the male and macho dominated profession. They risk their precious lives putting off fire and rescuing people.

To help my little man appreciates firefighters and their contributions to our society, I brought him to the open house of Central Fire Station Singapore.

While many pictorial children books still refer to a firefighter as a fireman, from here onward, let’s greet them firefighters. Why?

Denise Christie, a British female firefighter since 1997, often challenges the use of the term “fireman”. Why?

The “man” in the word “fireman” both consciously and subconsciously excludes girls and women from aspiring for a career (or I would rather say a vocation) as a firefighter.

Firefighter’s job is really one of the toughest, at the front-line of disasters and life-saving work.

In Singapore, firefighting, rescue and emergency ambulance services are provided by SCDF – that stands for Singapore Civil Defence Force (新加坡民防部队).

♥ ♥ ♥

ServicefromHeart travelxp Singapore Central Fire Station gate door


At Central Fire Station, baby Ren enjoyed appreciating many rescue vehicles, from ambulances to fire engines, including the huge Pump Ladder and Combined Platform Ladder.

ServicefromHeart travelxp Singapore Central Fire Station engines

He refers to any vehicle as tutu, perhaps from the sound that car horns or traditional trains make.

ServicefromHeart travelxp Singapore Central Fire Station Red Rhinos

Mama, look! Baby Ren was too amazed sitting inside the Red Rhino ~ a smaller and more compact version of the fire truck for better accessibility in tight and narrow spaces.


ServicefromHeart travelxp Singapore Central Fire Station

Your kids can squirt water like a real firefighter onto a ‘fire’ target. Have fun with the water gun!

The volunteer guide in uniform, an ‘Uncle’ in late 40s or early 50s, delivered useful knowledge related to emergency.

ServicefromHeart travelxp Singapore Central Fire Station

When someone has a heart attack (cardiac arrest), s/he has only 4 minutes to survive if no CPR is given. That’s why, everyone ideally learns and knows how to perform CPR. The skill can save our loved ones.

What is CPR?

CPR stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

In brief, CPR = rescue breathing + chest compression 

When someone is unconscious, remember the DR ABC steps, which stands for Danger – Response – Airway – Breathing – Compression.

1. DANGER: check no further danger to the rescuer (yourself) and the casualty.

2. RESPONSE: can the casualty respond?

Unconsciousness may be due to airway obstruction / choking, apnea, cardiac arrest.

Try to wake the casualty.

If no response, shout for help, ask someone to immediately call for an emergency ambulance (dial 995 in Singapore) and to get an AED (if available). .

If you are alone, use a speaker mode while calling, so your hands are free for the next step.

3. AIRWAY: open the casualty’s airway & check if airway is clear or blocked by a foreign object. Remember the head tilt chin lift method.

4. BREATHING: check by looking if the chest rises, listening & feeling for the air for up to 10 seconds.

If the casualty is breathing normally, place him in the recovery position and monitor his condition regularly until medical help arrives.


If the casualty does not breathe, immediately do CPR: a cycle of 30 compression followed by 2 rescue breath with the casualty’s nose being sealed.

The compression is delivered at the rate of 100 compressions / minute and to cause the chest to deepen by 1.5 to 2 inches (4 -5 cm).

Count loudly as you compress:
1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and 5 and
1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and 10 and
1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and 15 and
1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and 20 and
1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and 25 and
1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and 30

After 5 cycles of CPR, check for pulse and breathing.
If no breathing, repeat CPR until paramedics take over.

The air we breathe in contains 21% oxygen.
The air we breathe out contains 16-18% oxygen.
Therefore, rescue breathing still supplies the crucial oxygen to the casualty.

The steps described above are slightly different from those I learned during a Standard First Aid (SFA) course, before becoming a first aider with the Red Cross Youth NTU Chapter.

In my SFA course (more than a decade ago), after the BREATHING step, there is a CIRCULATION step, in which the rescuer checks for sign of blood flowing, particularly through carotid pulse. Since the pulse is difficult to determine, CPR is performed immediately if there is no breathing.


ServicefromHeart travelxp Singapore Central Fire Station NTU Red Cross Orchard

A memory of my fellow first aiders who served during a Christmas in Orchard, Singapore. Dad made a surprising night-visit that time, thanks to his Malaysian friend who drove to Singapore. Rarely seeing Dad, I wanted to accompany him strolling Orchard, but Dad insisted that I fulfill my duty. That night, I only served a casualty, who suffered from a minor bruise. Unlike other services or businesses, first aiders hope for less or no ‘customers’, i.e. everyone is okay.

Tips: You may want to keep a free Heart4Life app in your mobile phone.

I like the “CPR mode” because it is very easy to follow, especially when we are highly tense tending to the casualty, who can be our loved one.

The app also includes a 2.5-minute CPR video by Singapore Heart Foundation, which is also available in Youtube.

Important: This brief note here is not a substitute for live training, please kindly go for a CPR training by the professionals at your area, if you are interested to learn about CPR.

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AEDs also remind me on Monaco, where I saw many AEDs and yachts in a single day!

ServicefromHeart travelxp Singapore Central Fire Station Monaco

Yes, both are ubiquitous there.

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Sorry, I digress.

Back to the Central Fire Station …

ServicefromHeart travelxp Singapore Central Fire Station ambulance

Your children and you can get inside an ambulance. This way, your first encounter with the inner side of the ambulance was a happy experience.

Baby Ren and I were standing very close to an ambulance when an older adventurous boy intentionally or unintentionally pressed the siren button.


Very loud! Baby Ren immediately hug me tightly. It’s okay, honey!

The guide mentioned that a family member or friend of the casualty is usually asked to go with the ambulance. It’s definitely one of the most stressful rides for the person, always asking is his or her loved one is okay.

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When my mother was in her teen, a colossal fire engulfed and destroyed her home and community in Sukaramai. She lost everything except her life and few clothings that she managed to rescue using a bed sheet with its 4 corners tied together as a big carrier.

Many decades down the road, thanks to a kind distant relative, my mother managed to retrieve a family photograph (taken while she was in early primary school). People in the black-and-white photograph includes my tanned grandfather, my beautiful grandmother, my mother, her two brothers and a sister. She cherished the photograph so much! It is the only copy of family photograph that survived.

A photograph can be an evidence that someone had ever lived, especially for people who have never experienced digital world.


My maternal grandfather passed away when I was a toddler. I did not remember him much, but I cherish so much the photograph of the toddler-me hugging or clasping his leg in Brastagi (Berastagi).

The snap of memory that tells how much he has loved me, his first grandchild.

Waigong died of heart attack, and nobody (including himself) knew that he had a heart problem. Dajiu ( my first uncle), found him too late to save his life.

Pearls of tear drops flow on my cheek now. I wish I could knew more about you in person, Grandpa!

Nowadays, I helped Mom backing-up precious family photographs and videos. Never let fire (or any other disaster) steals your memory!

♥ ♥ ♥

ServicefromHeart travelxp Singapore Central Fire Station reflection photography memory

During my childhood in Jakarta, Dad and Mom had to work until very late at nights. Home alone, with my younger sister and brother, I was always alert hearing the siren of fire engine.

At that time, I did not know if it is either my adrenaline or cortisol that immediately spiked up.

I prayed that the volume of the siren to lower as the clock ticks in seconds – that’s mean the fire happened far from our dwelling.

We lived in the second floor, which was a blessing because Jakarta has suffered from floods at least annually. Relatively safe from the excessive water hazard, this possesses a challenge for fire and earthquake hazard.

Dad, not being paranoid but careful, made an emergency ladder of ropes and small wooden planks for us. The ladder was always placed beneath the window.

Dad instructed us to go down using the ladder in the event of fire and our parents were away working.

Thank you Papa for loving and caring us, for teaching us survival skills!

♥ ♥ ♥

FIRE SAFETY (main points are from a postcard of Civil Defense Heritage Gallery)

What to do … when you are trapped?
1. Stay calm
2. Enter a safe room, preferably one that overlooks a road.
3. Shut the door behind you. Cover the bottom gap of the door using wet clothes to prevent smoke from seeping through.
4. Call 995 and shout for help from the windows or other openings. Wait for rescue to arrive.
5. Cover your mouth and nose with wet clothes.
6. If you are on high floors, do not attempt to jump out of building. Help will be on the way very soon. Pray!

Tips: If you have locked window grills, keep the key at the accessible site in the same room.

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We were very happy with the educational and entertaining visit to the Central Fire Station. Baby Ren even dreamed of tutu in his afternoon nap.

ServicefromHeart travelxp Singapore Central Fire Station Red Rhinos

If you have a free Saturday morning in Singapore, I’d recommend visiting the Central Fire Station open house (9am-11am), followed by a visit to Civil Defence Heritage Gallery. Both are free of charge.

At historical level 1, we learned more about the Bukit Ho Swee Fire (河水山大火) on May 25, 1961 at 3.20 p.m. The devastating fire led to the HDB public housing scheme. As of 2014, 82% of Singaporeans (including baby Ren and his family) live in HDB flats.

ServicefromHeart travelxp Singapore Central Fire Station antique old fire engines

Antique fire engines are on display. They played roles in keeping people safe, and now retired they served as educational huge toys for children and grown-ups.

At modern level 2, your little ones can don on SCDF firefighter uniform and hat, or put off ‘fire’ thorugh a virtual fire window.

I appreciate many interactive stations that help children to learn about firefighting and rescue technology.

Baby Ren in a firefighter uniform reminds me on on Paddington Bear who was discovered in Paddington Station, London.

ServicefromHeart travelxp Singapore Central Fire Station firefighters

Baby Ren looks like a trophy won by the fearless firefighters. Cheers to the handsome brothers and abang!

Becoming fearless isn’t the point. That’s impossible. It’s learning how to control your fear, & how to be free from it, that’s the point. Necessity of action takes away the fear of the act, and makes bold resolution the favorite of fortune.” ~ Francis Quarles

You may also want to do a virtual tour of the Civil Defence Heritage Gallery.

Outside the gallery is a souvenir shop with many toys of fire engines being displayed. These really make little boys like baby Ren very excited and happy!

Address: 62 Hill Street 638482 ; nearby MRT stations City Hall or Clarke Quay
Fee: free

What’s next?
♥ Fancy a bird’s eye view? a future night Tower Tour when baby Ren can climb steadily on his own.
♥ See also our other #travelxp & #ministory posts

ServicefromHeart travelxp Singapore Central Fire Station tower spiral staircase

Final words … Thank you very much firefighters! You are our heroes and heroines.

With love,

I for ice cream for #AtoZChallenge: strawberry ice cream princess {#ministory}

Ice cream always makes us happy, especially on hot summer days. A frozen yet smoothly textured dessert made of milk or cream, sweetened & flavored with fruits, the making of ice cream requires slow stirring while cooling to prevent large ice crystals from forming.

strawberry ice cream princess {#ministory} by ServicefromHeart

Enjoy a bowl of ice cream bejeweled with generous amounts of fruits.

strawberry ice cream princess {#ministory} by ServicefromHeart

Listen to a beautiful song.

Share a story or ministory to our little friends.

Life is beautiful!

strawberry ice cream princess {#ministory} by ServicefromHeart

♥ ♥ ♥

Both baby Ren and I love the song Let It Go from Disney‘s 2013 animated feature film, Frozen.

My favorite version is sung by Lexi Walker. Her beautiful voice is a blend of an innocent little girl & a smart mature young woman.

The original lyric, composed by Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez:

The snow glows white on the mountain tonight
Not a footprint to be seen.
A kingdom of isolation,
and it looks like I’m the Queen
The wind is howling like this swirling storm inside
Couldn’t keep it in;
Heaven knows I’ve tried
Don’t let them in,
don’t let them see
Be the good girl you always have to be
Conceal, don’t feel,
don’t let them know
Well now they know
Let it go, let it go
Can’t hold it back anymore
Let it go, let it go
Turn away and slam the door
I don’t care
what they’re going to say
Let the storm rage on.
The cold never bothered me anyway
It’s funny how some distance
Makes everything seem small
And the fears that once controlled me
Can’t get to me at all
It’s time to see what I can do
To test the limits and break through
No right, no wrong, no rules for me,
I’m free!
Let it go, let it go
I am one with the wind and sky
Let it go, let it go
You’ll never see me cry
Here I stand
And here I’ll stay
Let the storm rage on
My power flurries through the air into the ground
My soul is spiraling in frozen fractals all around
And one thought crystallizes like an icy blast
I’m never going back, the past is in the past
Let it go, let it go
And I’ll rise like the break of dawn
Let it go, let it go
That perfect girl is gone
Here I stand
In the light of day
Let the storm rage on
The cold never bothered me anyway!


♥ ♥ ♥

For #AtoZChallenge on 2014 April 10 Thu, I lovingly present a #ministory of strawberry ice cream princess, inspired by both Frozen and baby Ren, who loves Frozen’s song Let It Go and strawberries.
strawberry ice cream princess {#ministory} by ServicefromHeart

During a cold winter, a young beautiful girl has caught cold after spending entire morning working hard outdoor.

When she was about to take a rest inside her tiny hut, which has no fire place, her stepmother shouted at her, “Quick! Make your sister some strawberry ice cream!”

Her sister is actually her stepsister without blood relationship, but the girl loves her sister. She would love to make her sister strawberry ice cream, if possible.

“But mother, where do I find strawberries in these winter days?”the girl gently replied, knowing how unreasonable the order was.

Her stepmother fiercely replied, “I don’t care! Don’t come back before you find them!”

So the girl walked out to the mountain. She braved the storms and affirmed to herself, “be the good girl!” like her father’s final words before being sent to a war.

A day passed. Two days had gone. No matter where she looked for, she found no strawberries.

Hungry. Her tummy complained louder than ever, yet she persisted.


Finally, she fell down on soft snow. “Oh … God! Please don’t let me frozen to death,” she weakly whispered to the bone-chilling wind.

Fortunately, a bear soon found the girl laying cold and almost lifeless.

He used his furry body to cuddle the girl like a warm thick blanket.

He fed her honey to nourish her body, for many days … until summer arrives.

The bear brought the girl to a patch of berries, including strawberries. The girl remembered her unfinished task to make her stepsister strawberry ice cream.

After collecting a  basket of succulent strawberries, she bid farewell to the bear, “My savior bear, when will I see you again?”

Inside her heart, she knows that she may not see the bear again.

The bear sincerely pleaded, “Good girl, please marry me and you will see me everyday of your life.”

Before the girl replied, the bear kissed her – as red as strawberries – lips, and transformed into a handsome prince.

He was under a spell by a witch whom he angered for challenging her.

The good girl nodded and tears flowed down her cheeks. The prince brought her to his majestic kingdom, where she was crowned as a princess and both live happily ever after.

Every year, the filial good girl makes strawberry ice cream for her stepsister and visits her stepmother. Hence, people also dearly address the good girl as the strawberry ice cream princess!

strawberry ice cream princess {#ministory} by ServicefromHeart

With love,

easy apple pear soup recipe

Fruits like apple and pear are suitable to cook clear and refreshing soup, especially for hot summer or dry spell (kemarau) such as an extreme one that we had in Singapore in February-March 2014. It is the driest one since 1869 for Singapore!

The apple pear soup (苹果雪梨汤) is good to soothe throat and clear phlegm.

easy apple pear soup recipe by ServicefromHeart

Snow pear is known for its cooling and thirst-quenching properties.

The benefits of apple have been epitomized in a saying that “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.


Ministory 1:

Once, a little girl shared to me that she dislikes apples because Snow White died after having a bite of a poisonous apple. I was inspired by how her mother, instead of lecturing her on the goodness of apples and forcing her to eat apples, asked the little girl a thought-provoking question.

“Darling, do you think the Prince will be allowed to kiss Snow White if she has not eaten the apple?”

“If there is no kiss from the Prince, do you feel that Snow White will immediately fall in love to the Prince once she opens her eyes?”

While it is essential to guide our children to be prudent – not to accept food from a stranger without an approval of parents / teachers, I found that it is also equally meaningful to reflect if our past encounters are blessings in disguise. What do you think?
easy apple pear soup recipe by ServicefromHeart

Ministory 2:

A man whom I have been greatly grateful to is Sir Isaac Newton,  an English physicist, mathematician and great thinker.

On a windy afternoon in a colorful autumn, Newton walked at a beautiful garden. * Taking a rest under an apple tree, Newton saw a ripen apple fell to the ground.

He did not reach out to eat the crunchy red apple, as what some of us might do. However, his mind was searching for the possible explanations why apple always fall perpendicularly to the ground.

“Why not fall sideways? Why not upwards?”

After meandering, thinking, and pondering, Newton explains:

“Every object draws every other object toward it.
The more matter an object contains the harder it draws.
The nearer an object is to another the harder it draws.
The harder an object draws other objects, the heavier it is said to be.
The earth is many millions of times heavier than an apple;
so it draws the apple toward it millions and millions of times harder than the apple can draw the other way.”

Thanks to a humble event that nature offered Newton a glimpse of (the falling of an apple), Newton described the effect of gravity and defined the law of universal gravitation.
* I remember the excitement of seeing the descendants of the Newton’s apple tree at Cambridge University Botanic Garden!


Chinese almond kernels (南北杏)can strengthen our respiratory systems. Before I left to live in England, Agnes lovingly packed me some Chinese almond kernels to make soups. Thank you! I’m blessed.

Serving: 3
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 65 minutes

easy apple pear soup recipe by ServicefromHeart

♥ 1 apple (苹果), peeled, cored & quartered
♥ 1 snow pear (雪梨), peeled, cored & quartered
♥ 1 honey date ((蜜枣), washed
♥ 8 red dates ((红枣), washed & pitted
♥ 1 tbsp dried scallops (干贝)
♥ 1 tbsp Chinese almond kernels (南北杏)
♥ 200g meat (骨) & bone (肉), e.g. pork ribs
♥ 1 liter water

1. Blanch bones and meats in boiling water for ~5 minutes. Drain and wash.
2. Add all ingredients to boiled water.
3. Simmer over low heat for 1 hour.

easy apple pear soup recipe by ServicefromHeart

Enjoy this soup with our other #5minutemeal recipes, that are fast and easy to prepare.

Other recipes that I love:

♥ Fong’s Kitchen Journal also uses dried figs as an ingredient.

Snow pear soup recipe @ Nobcook & the tips on not to over consume bitter almond (北杏).

With love,

Little Minh {#ministory}

This story is part of our #ministory series that we share to little pre-school friends, hope you like it too!

mini story believe in miracles Minh Vietnam ServicefromHeart

In a farm at a countryside of Vientnam, little Minh lives with his Daddy and Mommy.

Every morning, Daddy and Mommy start to work before the sunrise and only end work after the sunset.

Daddy and Mommy often feel tired. Little Minh wants to help but he cannot walk.

Little Minh stays at home. He loves reading books and watching flying birds, dancing leaves and people from his tiny bedroom.

At night, little Minh tells funny stories to Daddy and Mommy. Often, Daddy and Mommy laugh “hahaha…hahaha” loudly.

Little Minh is the sweetheart of Daddy and Mommy. He brings happiness to Daddy and Mommy.

One day, little Minh sees a little bird flying in stress outside his window. A furious cat tries to catch the bird. Little Minh wants to rescue the bird and stands up to chase the cat away.

Daddy and Mommy see the miracle: little Minh can stand and walk now. They hug each other in joyful tears.

Inspirations for this #ministory:

♥ baby Ren’s favorite activity of gazing at birds

baby Ren’s Godmother

♥ cheerful and friendly Nguyen Ngoc Minh

With love,