Countdown to Joash's 6th Birthday

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Countdown to Jayna's 5th Birthday

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Countdown to Jaide's Birthday

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Countdown to Joram's 3rd Birthday

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Monday, January 25, 2016

长长久九


Nine years... Just one year short of a decade. It sure feels like we've been married forever. 

I simply cannot imagine managing a household with four children apart from Joshua's tireless support and love. He may not be the most romantic of husbands but he is extremely dedicated to the family and helps out whenever he can. It is also remarkable that he releases me to serve in the worship ministry and takes care of the four kids for me when I'm on duty. This is something I never thought possible...

It was such a hilarious situation when I accidentally saw his handphone reminder to get the snowflake pendant I really love. He had intended to purchase that as a surprise anniversary gift. If my husband were a better liar, he could have gotten away with me being none the wiser but his embarrassed expression and response gave him away! ROFL After all, his honesty is one of the many reasons why I choose him as my husband. *beam* In the end, I got the pendant in advance. Hee...


He has always refrained from getting his favourite bak kwa for himself due to the cost. So I bought that as a gift for him on the actual day. Two days later, he got me a belated bouquet of flowers as he did not have time to do so on the actual day. Such is the life of busy parents. We even had to postpone our celebration by two weeks due to family and ministry commitments.



All along, I've been the one to plan celebrations because I'm good at it. However, after the exertion of moving house last year, I asked my husband to be the one to plan our anniversary celebration. It was lovely that he brought us back to the place where I first had an inkling of his interest in me. *wink wink* This is especially so since the place will be demolished in half a year's time. 

It so happened that I was actually craving for Fish & Co just the day before. Talk about coincidence!

It started to pour right after we entered the restaurant and we could enjoy each other's company while surrounded by rivulets of rain water cascading down the glass walls. Dreamy...




Knowing that I love cats, my generous and loving husband chose to spend the afternoon at a place which interests only me: a cat cafe. I was so delighted to have the opportunity to feed the cats! I totally love the kitty charm Joshua got for me there too. *swoon* 

I'm looking forward to many more years with the love of my life! (especially after the kids have flown the nest :P)






Monday, January 4, 2016

Joram's First Day of School


This year marks the beginning of a new "era" of homemaking when I finally can have a 2.5 hours slot during which ALL 4 of my children will be in school. Apart from the pregnancies, I have never had any time to myself during the day to peacefully and leisurely complete my chores without multitasking. As Joram, my littlest kid, enters nursery 1, I look forward to easier days. 

Joram has been so looking forward to going to school for the past few months. He started saying he wanted to go to school with her sisters whenever I was was sending them up the school bus. Today, he was absolutely delighted wearing his school uniform for the first time. He did very well the entire time at school and cooperated with the teachers perfectly. He only started tearing when the teachers asked him to keep the toys while he was playing with his favourite toy trains so that they could move on to the next program. He'll just have to get used to having only small pockets of time for toy-playing while at school.

I'm so proud of my obedient youngest boy! *beam*

No school bus today
so took a cab to school

Waiting for school
to start...

Putting his water bottle
onto the correct tray

And now his bag

Eating lunch

Drinking water

Lesson time!!!

Toy-playing session

Got a new school bag!

Going home on the public bus
 

Last post about Jayna

As Jayna enters P1, it is also time for her to graduate from my blog. From now on, I will be left with only the two younger children every school morning. No longer will I enjoy the company of my best helper who had been taking complete charge of the breakfast table for the past half a year. 

Even though I will miss her precious assistance, I am still very glad for her to reach a new stage of growth and development. Jaide will also need to eventually level up in her capacity and maturity and she can only learn to do so if the older two are not around to rely upon. 

May she adjust well to her new school and I look forward to seeing her excel academically as she has both the aptitude and the attitude for it. I pray that she'll find good friends of positive influence to her and that she'll enjoy herself thoroughly. 

Now, I am half-way done with my blogging journey. I have 4 more years to go. *wistful*
   

Thursday, December 24, 2015

DIY Insect Screen


It is absolutely fabulous to have almost constant breeze from the kitchen windows. It keeps my workspace cool and ventilated. Plus, it makes the laundry dry much better. However, the strong wind blows in tiny insects too, especially the dead ones which offer no resistance to the gusts of air. 

Thus, after some research online, I decided to purchase a DIY insect screen kit from Qoo10. The materials were delivered the next day and I put them together in half an hour. Yippee! Now, I only need to occasionally clear the window sill of the tiny carcasses of the insects instead of having to clean them up from all over the kitchen.

I'm glad that the view is still almost as clear as before. What a worthwhile investment. 

View by day...

... and by night.

Orchard Lights Tour


We started the new tradition of going Orchard to see Christmas lights and we have every intention of keeping that going. This year, I was more prepared. I made sure that all the kids had a nap in the afternoon, something I hadn't done in a long time. Only Jaide who slept the least became cranky towards the end. 

Even though I thought to walk in the opposite direction of last year's tour, the concentration of pretty lights and activities caused me to decide on the exact same route in the end. LOL One funny thing that happened was that a foreigner actually asked to take a picture with us because we were the "Super Family" aka all wearing the same Superman t-shirt! Hahaha...

This year, Orchard Gateway got voted the best dressed building so we had our dinner there. The food at Shin Sapporo Ramen was really affordable and good and the place was pretty deserted so we had a great time there. Then off we went on our annual Christmas lights viewing.

Orchard Gateway

Icicles

Orchard Central


Big swing chair for all of them

313 @ Somerset

Mandarin Gallery

Street lights

Takashimaya

Tangs: Still the one declaring the Truth!

Wheelock Place

These lights remind me of cookies...

Paragon

ION Orchard, my favourite!

There were volunteers raising money for KKH so we bought 2 tiny hat clippies with blinking lights from them and got a free balloon with blinking lights too. 


This year, we met my ex-colleagues from SYFC and I was very encouraged that they used the Christmas murals to share about the true meaning of Christmas. There were also games stalls where children got to listen to different parts of Jesus' birth story. Keep up the great work, brothers and sisters in Christ!

Posing at the mural

Hearing about how Herod killed babies
in order to eliminate baby Jesus. *sob*

This year, the kids asked to watch the street performances. There was an uncle doing magic tricks and juggling acts. Another one was by the Annoying Brothers who were delivering a slapstick comedy routine. Then a Japanese young man demonstrated a short breakdance. The hilarious thing is he got Joshua to be his assistant for the show!!! Watch the video below to see a snippet of it. *grin* The kids got the hang of putting money into the bag/hat after each entertainment as appreciation. 

Now you see it,
now you don't!

Breakdance!

Joshua's moment of fame!

Since I happened to pass by Nippon-ya, I took the opportunity of the kids eating their Yami Yogurt supper to purchase a box of kitty biscuits to hang on my teacup whenever I enjoy my french rose bud tea. *swoon* We ended once again at Paragon's junior playground. It was 11pm by then so we called it a night. 


   

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Designed for Efficiency


When we first got our marital home, we could not do much renovation due to financial constrains. Thus, I had to make do with whatever that was already there. I am so glad that I can have, at long last, my perfect workspace. This is especially necessary with a house twice the size of my previous home. I have to be even more efficient to be able to clean the house, do laundry, cook and take care of 4 kiddos all by myself. 

First, I chose the colour not just to brighten up the place. Since everything will turn yellow with time if constantly exposed to oil fumes, it will not be so obvious if it is already yellow in the first place! LOL I invested in a quartz countertop and glass backing for easy maintenance. Stains will not show up so easily with the sparkling marbled effect of the material. 


I requested for two faucets at the sink because I need one of them to dispense filtered water. And since my children help me out with washing dishes, it is useful to have an additional tap when I work side by side with one of them standing on the stool. 


In order to maximise the space under the sink, I got a long tension rod so that I can hang baskets meant for sponges and wiper sheets above all the things at the bottom. 


I made sure that there is plenty of space between the sink and the cooker so that I can quickly prepare ingredients on the chopping board without worrying about food dropping to the floor. Dishes and knives are within easy reach. I also made sure that there are two power sockets for infrequently used appliances such as a mini air-purifier, air-fryer and multi-tiered steamer which are normally kept in the cabinet underneath. 


I decided to convert to an induction cooker because Jayna asked to be taught to cook next year. It'll be far safer when there isn't any open flames. I realised that it is so much easier to clean and maintain an induction cooker as compared to a gas stove. Another good thing about it is that I don't have to worry about running out of gas in the middle of cooking like I used to. 

I placed the condiments near enough for me to marinate the ingredients and use them while I cook yet far enough to prevent getting splatter from stir-frying. The pots and pans are kept directly below for quick access. 


I'm so glad that with a bigger kitchen, I can have plenty of counter space to put my rice container, raw sugar jar together with my oven and kettle without cramping them. It is such a relief to have a proper cutlery tray, right sized drawers and shelves of the right height for all my stuff. 



Instead of being squeezed into a corner blocked by dining chairs, my trolley for plastic tableware finally has its own place near to the dining area. The kids now do not need to come all the way into the kitchen to get their eating utensils, tissue or wet wipes and throw rubbish into the dustbin. The fridge is right beside it so they can easily get their breakfast cereal and milk in the morning without bothering me too. No more dangerously getting in my way while I work in the kitchen. Yay!

Old method
New method

I totally love my new laundry area. In the past, I kept unused hangers on an exposed hanging bar but they collected dust and rusted very quickly. Now, I fitted two tension rods into one of my big laundry boxes to store them instead. I can take off the lid whenever I need the hangers and put the lid back when I'm done. 


I've always been using my dining table to sort my laundry but it is very difficult when the kids need to eat at the dining table too. Thus, I decided to custom-make a foldable table that can be tucked away when not in use. What a truly great space-saving idea!

All the way up for drying...
All the way down for easy access

I am extremely grateful to my CG mate for suggesting this EZ Living Clothesline System to me. I can permanently do away with a clothes fork, which has been such a hazard to my kids and I whenever they help out with the laundry, since the laundry poles go up and come down with a simple pressing of the button. It even comes with its own illumination, UV lights to kill germs and ventilating fans to aid in the drying of the clothes.

In case you're wondering,
this is an extendable clothes fork
for reaching hangers on
laundry poles at the ceiling


Last but not the least, I brought over from the old place my indispensable 16-inch fan to keep me cool while I cook or give extra wind power to dry the laundry on rainy days. I love it that it's white and blends into the background, sitting unobtrusively atop the fridge.