Countdown to Joash's 6th Birthday

Lilypie - Personal pictureLilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Countdown to Jayna's 5th Birthday

Lilypie - Personal pictureLilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Countdown to Jaide's 4th Birthday

Lilypie - Personal pictureLilypie Fourth Birthday tickers

Countdown to Joram's 1st Birthday

Lilypie - Personal pictureLilypie Second Birthday tickers

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Greater Independence

The eldest has been bathing on his own for quite a long time. Now, the second-born is also attaining independence in this area of self-care. They can now take turns to use the kitchen's bathroom to bathe while we bathe the younger two in our bedroom's bathroom. Another milestone reached! I added more hooks for her clothes and got another toothbrush in her favourite colour to commemorate the occasion. Bath-time is now officially shortened by another 15 min!

P/S: Two months ago, Joram graduated from bathing in the bathtub since he was already able to stand under the shower. We gave away the trusty old bath stand which served us well over the many years. It was bittersweet saying goodbye to this piece of baby item. 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Definitely Brothers

Can a pair of brothers be anymore alike than these two? 

I've already mentioned before that they are both nuts about vehicles. They are equally excited about lights and simply love to walk along drain covers and stomp on manhole covers. At a certain age, they are both crazy about throwing toys into strange places. The older one ever threw one out of the window. The younger one just slam-dunked one into the toilet bowl. And they both hurled countless things out of our front gate. 

Despite being hilariously mischievous, they are still much more obedient and sensible than most children. On top of that, they get along fabulously, having the same interests and sense of humour. I am simply blessed to have them as my sons!

Here's a little silly trailer I compiled regarding them. Enjoy!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Blissful 8th Wedding Anniversary

This year's anniversary celebration was by far the most elaborate and enjoyable! A wonderful friend from our church CG agreed to let two of our kids have a sleepover at her place with her daughters while my mum-in-law took care of the other two at our place. Then, off we went to Quincy Hotel for our first staycation all by ourselves. 

We started with a soupy lunch at Soup Spoon in ION Orchard. We normally do not have the luxury of slowly choosing and sampling different flavours with the kids around, so we took this rare chance to do it to our hearts' content. The meal was followed by ice-cream from Gelateria Italia

Four different soups to try

Let's commemorate!

We made our way to check into the hotel and it was far better than we expected. The room had an open concept bathtub, which we totally dig, and a comfy window seat, where we spent quite some time chit-chatting and snacking away. The swimming pool was as beautiful and unique as rumoured, however, the water was exceptionally cold due to the strong winds at 12th storey high. The mini bar was complimentary and there was 24 hour light refreshments at the cafe downstairs. No need to fear starving in the middle of the night. LOL

The hotel from afar

We arrived!

The open concept bathtub

Gorgeous pool

Lovely lookout

Freezing cold water *burrrr....*

FOC tea break at the cafe

Joshua took me to Wan Yang for a nice neck and shoulders massage which melted away my muscle strain, an occupational hazard as a SAHM with very young children who need lots of carrying. After which, we went to Bliss House, a themed restaurant at Clark Quay Central for a luxurious dinner. The food was very well done. I enjoyed the cod fish the most, while Joshua found the Agnus beef steak extremely juicy.

The best part was a live performance with great singers. Most of the time, I would cringe at the voice quality of the performers in such a setting. I was most grateful when I was serenaded, instead, by two beautiful voices that blended perfectly. We even made two song dedications! 

The restaurant was truly stunning in its decor. There were even props to aid in our photo-taking. We had a blast exploring the enchanting dreamland. 

On the swing of happiness


Pretending to be a
haughty queen

Michael Jackson???

Act cute only... :P


The live band

The night was still young. We went down to Lido to watch a late movie, the last installation of The Hobbit series. When the movie ended, we packed some supper, collected the complimentary chardonnay and cookies, and continued to enjoy each other's fabulous company. It was so much fun! It reminded us of our honeymoon experience, only much better, as we know each other in deeper ways than 8 years ago.

Outside Lido 7

Breakfast the next day was sumptuous and it fuelled us for a nice ride on the City Tour around town, an exhilarating experience on a "topless" double-decker bus. Before we checked out of the hotel, we managed to have yet another soak in the bathtub and drink some left-over chardonnay mixed in Pepsi by the window for one last time.

Check out the view!

At the hotel lobby

Since we still had some time before lunch, we did silly poses with the remnant Christmas decorations at Orchard Central. Finally, we ended off our celebration by treating ourselves to crabs at Tung Lok Seafood Restaurant. This is something we love to eat but hardly get the opportunity to satisfy our cravings because it is simply impossible to tackle the shells with kids in tow.

As my reward for planning the entire celebration, Joshua let me have all the crab pincers to myself! *pure bliss* Thank you, Bear bear! Praise God for allowing everything to go so smoothly without a hitch and blessing us with good weather throughout the stay!

Off to dreamland... Zzz...

Martial arts performer? ROFL

Jaclyn in wonderland

Our turn to wear bibs! Haha...

Savouring the first bite
Hmmm mhh...

Friday, December 26, 2014

2014 Reflections

A rare treat I gave myself
after clearing our debts!

As the year comes to an end, I am filled to the brim with thanksgiving. 

Running an impossible schedule at the mercy of school bus timings during term time was exhausting to say the least. On top of that, I made good my word to bring the kids on an outing by myself twice a week during school holidays. Although meaningful and worthwhile, it had nonetheless been severely taxing physically and emotionally. 

For the first half of the year, I could not get used to winging it all alone; the chores, the cooking, the care-giving of 4 young children; and struggled to find time to eat. Watching the numbers going down each time I went on the weighing scale got me worried. The necklines of my t-shirts became too loose and my face looked like I aged 5 years all of a sudden. My lips were perpetually pale.

It took me quite a while to learn how to put my needs first. God has truly stretched me like a rubber-band and thankfully, I am now quite accustomed to the routine without sacrificing my own sustenance. Having so little time to eat, I have to make sure every morsel count by choosing healthy options. I inculcated in myself the habit of taking supplements and drinking 3 litres of filtered water everyday to maintain my health. In short, I grew in my ability to take care of myself appropriately. By the grace of God, I am now maintaining my ideal weight. 

There were so many challenges just this year: my back problems, husband's promotion and subsequent marked increase in workload, the baby's hypersensitivity gag, the eldest's adjustments to formal education's rigours and demands, multiple eczema recurrences in the children, the battle against Jaide's phlegm and mucus for half a year, Jaide's toilet training and water-drinking struggles, persistent toddler meltdowns, my sudden onset of terrible PMS, ovarian cysts, severe ovulation pain, our financial difficulties... And these are just the more significant ones. 

Yet, time and time again, I see how God works miracles through the trials. I had God's reassurance that He is indeed in control. No suffering is unnecessary. For without the tough times, I would not have seen how in all things God works for the good of those who love Him. I would not be able to treasure the wonderful life I now enjoy.

Without the helplessness in handling Jaide's wilfulness using human strength and wisdom, I would not have experienced the victory in allowing God to be Lord over my daughter's life. Ever since Jaide accept Christ, she has become so much more obedient and cheerful. For someone who woke up crying inconsolably every morning, it was truly a miracle when she started walking into our bedroom, greeting us 'Good morning' with a smile. The budding growth in her faith becomes more and more evident with each passing day. Life is now so much easier when she realises how to draw upon the transforming power of the Holy Spirit. Oh, what joy we see in her when she knows that Jesus now lives in her heart!

Without the pain I suffer in my body and the desperate ways I sought to help my children become healthy, I would never understand the relief which comes after God's miraculous healing with very simple solutions. A mere doubling of water-intake for the children and enforcing water parades before each meal cleared all the phlegm, ulcers and sore throats. By consuming the prescribed pills for my hormonal imbalance, not only were my cysts, ovulation pain and PMS resolved, even pre-existing problems regarding my monthly cycle have ceased to be. My hair stopped dropping excessively too!

Joram overcame his food problem. My back completely healed. My husband made it through many storms at his workplace. A tuition job, to help make ends meet, dropped into my lap at the perfect time. Despite being the most difficult year in my home-making journey, this is the year when I see most how God makes all things beautiful in His time. If someone had suggested to me in the beginning of the year to spend some time giving myself creative outlets, I would have thought him utterly mad. Yet, in the recent months, I've hosted themed events, made pretty bentos and crafted accessories in abundance. How could I have done it without God's empowerment and provision?

I look forward to another year of journeying with the Lord. May the works of my hands and the meditations of my heart be pleasing to Him. To God be the glory!

At a wedding dinner

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Wrapping Christmas Up

Blessed Christmas to one and all! 

Most years, we would avoid Christmas service because there would be no Sunday school or child-minding for the kids. This means that we would have to keep all four of them quiet and engaged throughout the service in the sanctuary. *sweat* 

But today, the older three said they wanted to empty out their heavy coin banks as their offering to God! Thus, it would be far more meaningful if the children could put their offering into the bag themselves. Frankly, I was expecting them to give a small token when I asked them but I was blown away by their generous hearts and love for Jesus. They even sang the birthday song to Jesus!

Here's what they learnt during the month of advent. I'm quite glad that they can remember most of them. *beam*

Lesson 1: 
Promised through the seed of Abraham.
OT Prophecy - Gen 22:18
NT Fulfilment - Matt 1:1

- Make tree ornaments
Love (Romans 8:35)
Joy (Luke 2:10)
Peace (Isaiah 9:6)

Lesson 2: 

Promised through Isaac.
OT Prophecy - Gen 21:12
NT Fulfilment - Luke 3:34

- Dramatise the origin story 
- Make a poinsettia ornament

Lesson 3: 

Out of the tribe of Judah 
OT Prophecy - Micah 5:2
NT Fulfilment - Luke 3:33

- Make spiral icicle

Lesson 4: 

Born in the family of Jesse 
OT Prophecy - Isaiah 11:1
NT Fulfilment - Luke 3:32

- Make genealogy Christmas balls

Lesson 5: 

Born in the house of King David.
OT Prophecy - Jeremiah 23:5-6
NT Fulfilment - Luke 3:31

- Make crown ornaments.

Lesson 6: 

Born in Bethlehem 
OT Prophecy - Micah 5:2
NT Fulfilment - Luke 2:4-7

- Make the Bethlehem star with play dough and cookie cutters

Lesson 7: 

Born of a virgin (As announced by an angel)
OT Prophecy - Isaiah 7:14
NT Fulfilment - Matt 1:18

- Make an angel ornament

Lesson 8: 

Worshipped and Presented gifts by Kings 
OT Prophecy - Psalm 72:10
NT Fulfilment - Mat 2:11

- Explain the meaning behind the gifts
- Make the 3 gifts (gold, incense and myrrh)

Lesson 9: 

Worshipped by Shepherds
OT Prophecy - Psalm 72:9
NT Fulfilment - Luke 2:9

- Explain the meaning behind the candy cane
- Make candy cane ornament using pipe cleaners
- Eat candy canes

Lesson 10: 
Weeping for the children
OT Prophecy - Jeremiah 31:15
NT Fulfilment - Matt 2:16

- Make Baby-Jesus-in-a-manger craft

Lesson 11: 
Flight to Egypt 
OT Prophecy - Hosea 11:1
NT Fulfilment - Matt 2:13-14

- Explain how Jesus is the light of the world (John 8:12)
- Light a candle in the dark storeroom 
- Make candle craft

Lesson 12: 
He is the Son of God
OT Prophecy - Psalm 2:7
NT Fulfilment - Luke 3:22

- Make dove craft

Christmas tree filled with
Advent crafts and ornaments

Lesson 13: 

He will be called Lord
OT Prophecy - Psalm 110:1
NT Fulfilment - Luke 2:11

- Read the Christmas story
- Partake in Holy Communion

The completed Thanksgiving board