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 Birthday

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Sunday, November 18, 2018

Our adorable angel


Joram truly brings to our family much joy with his adorable antics. Even when he throws a tantrum, his response to our efforts to handle him is simply so cute. There are many laugh-till-our-eyes-tear situations and here's one hilarious moment.

I was hugging both my girls who were sitting on my right and left during lunchtime. Joram saw it and became jealous. He started crying saying that he desperately wanted me to hug him too. Since I was sandwiched at the wall seats, I couldn't move over to the dear boy sitting opposite me. Joshua and his older brother, seated beside, attempted to appease him by offering to do the hugging instead but to no avail. He even refused the "remote" hug from me (yes, we invented such a thing in our family) and continued sobbing miserably as if there's no consolation. Finally, Joshua told him, "Your oreo cheesecake is coming soon!"

The moment he heard that, his face lit up and he started look around with his eyes big as saucers. His reaction was so immediate and the change so drastic that the whole family burst into mad laughter. Ah, my dear Joram, may you always remain so endearing to us. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Joram's 1st Spiritual Birthday


A year ago, Joram accept Jesus into his heart. Today, he celebrates his very first spiritual birthday with his second sister, whose day of salvation falls on the same date albeit 3 years earlier. 

Ever since he realised his need for God in his life, he has shown a growing awareness of his own sinfulness. This can only come from the keen understanding of the holiness of God and His perfect standard of love. It is beautiful seeing him sing praises the God while he looks out of the window everyday. He also said that he wants to love others as God loves him just as commanded in the bible. 

May his love for people grow as it overflows from the love he experiences with Jesus, His Lord and Savior!


Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Dealing with Bullies


It is with a heavy heart that I learnt that a few of my children's friends had been severely and constantly bullied by their school mates. Even more tragic that their new principal had been more concerned for the reputation of the school than with helping the students resolve the issues. I am proud to say that my kids had been able to stand up against the bullies by the grace of God. I had been teaching them ways to deal with such situations and I thought it might be helpful for other parents to know these suggestions too.

Three things NEVER to do:

1) Take revenge
The moment the victim gets involved with giving tit for tat, he becomes equally at fault. What's worse, if someone sees the victim committing the offence and did not get to see how it got started, the poor guy gets the blame instead. The aggressor will always lie to protect himself and the offended has no witness of his own.

2) React negatively
The moment the bullied person loses temper, breaks down in tears or cowers in fear, the bully got what he wanted. It'll only further encourage the tormenting. So even if the target feels upset, do not show it. Pretend that it is water off the duck's back and ignore the tormentor. The victim should wait till he is in a safe place, e.g. at home, with good friends or family members, before releasing the pent up emotions. 

3) Be alone
It is natural for the recipient of traumatising experiences to be tempted to keep things to himself. Bullies love to attack when nobody is around. As far as possible, be with at least one friend. There will be a witness if anything bad were to happen. If the hater somehow manages to turn everybody in the same environment against the sufferer through threats or popularity, make friends from elsewhere. (Yes, popular people can be mean too) 

Personally, when I was harassed by a prominent girl, nobody else in class dared to stick by me. That was why I kept hanging out with friends from other classes and people from my CCA. When I was under heavy fire from two colleagues in my department as a teacher, I spent most of my time with those in other departments. As it turns out, those in whom I took refuge in became my best buddies till today. 

Here are three things to do instead:

1) Report the incident immediately. 
Don't let it drag on. Let the respective authorities handle the situation. If there are witnesses, rally them. However, there are sadly cases where those in charge are not doing their job properly. Sometimes, the bullies can masquerade as well-liked individuals and only stab another person in the dark. They can bootlick the bosses into taking their sides and lie their way out. In the event of impotent authorities, there are still two other things to be done.

2) Distance yourself
As far as possible, do not be in the same vicinity as the bully. Change seats if possible. If not, avoid any possible contact and basically treat the meanie as if invisible unless necessary. Ignore any attempts on their part to engage or attract attention. 

3) Life goes on
If the victim behaves as if nothing happened and continues with life confidently and cheerfully, he shows that he is not to be trifled with. Perform better, achieve good results, become more accomplished. That'll put the bully to shame. People have eyes to see and time can tell. Eventually, the others will side with the offended person if he can consistently show himself to be the bigger person. 

This video can also be a 
good resource for 
teaching children 
how to handle bullying

If one is a Christian, there are 3 more things that can be done:

1) Share Jesus
Most bullies have very tragic backstories. They are unloved, abused, bullied themselves or terribly neglected in their lives. Either they have been traumatised and want to lash out at others or they simply want to get the attention they sorely lack in their empty lives. If there was some kind of a relationship between the bullied and the bully before things turned out badly, the bullied can try sharing the gospel to the broken person in the presence of another believer. Only God can save and heal. If he refuses to listen, quoting from the bible is better than nothing.
"The words that a person speaks come from their thoughts. It is what comes out of a person's mouth that makes them dirty." (Matthew 15:18)

2) Be kind
Even though on normal days, the offended should stay away from the recalcitrant offender, when an obvious need arises, show love to the undeserved one. God's Word tells us to love our enemies. Yet, we must be as innocent as doves but as shrewd as a serpent. Do this act of kindness with another friend to safeguard himself. 
"If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink" (Romans 12:20)

3) Pray
Not just for God to protect or make a way out, but also for the bully to find God in the end. 
"But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." (Matthew 5:44)

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Family Devotions

A photo of the screened cosmos
(My phone camera doesn't do it justice)

When the children were young, it was next to impossible to do family devotions. We had to do a lot of behavioural management due to inattentiveness, chit-chatting, asking of irrelevant questions and squabbles. The older two were bored with the kiddy songs and simple lessons, whereas the younger ones couldn't help disturbing everyone especially when we tried to address the legitimate queries of their elder siblings. 

God had very graciously prompted me at the beginning of this year to split them into two groups. We use regular worship songs and read straight from the bible starting from Genesis. The lessons learnt are rich and the questions asked by our first two children are deep and pertinent. When it comes to the younger two, we still use an age-appropriate devotional with interesting stories and upbeat kids' praise songs to keep them interested. Thank God that our bedtime family devotions have now finally become peaceful and meaningful. 

Today, I had yet another inspiration. 

We actually have a home planetarium which projects the starry night sky onto the ceiling. We bought it quite some time ago. The boys have it in their room at night on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays while the girls use it on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays as they fall asleep. 

Tonight, I brought the machine into my air-conditioned room, prepared my favourite lavender aromatherapy, put on the soundtrack of sea waves accompanied by ethereal music and switched on an audio reading of the book of Psalms. All four children piled into our queen-sized bed, snugly tucked under my comforter, and listened to the bible while gazing at the constellations. It was such a beautiful and therapeutic time that I have decided to have this session every Sunday night.

Even though the little ones are inevitably prone to fidgeting and talking, I'm sure that in good time, they will learn to be still and know that He is God. I pray that this regular quiet moment of imbibing the Word of God under such soothing conditions, which is as close to the ambience of nature as we can possibly create at home, will enhance their relationship with their Lord and Saviour.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Tayo Station


To reward Joram for his good behaviour during the Youth Day outing, I brought just him all the way to Downtown East for a fun time at the new Tayo Station as his Children's Day celebration. The rest of the kids were grounded at home for being a nuisance to the public. 

As I suspected, Joram chose to spend most of the two hours at the road circuit. He simply zipped around with such glee! He also enjoyed the slides at the playground section. Right before we left, he watched the TV show for a while and I allowed him to buy a toy as a souvenir. No prize for guessing what he chose. ROFL

After being so used to lugging 4 kiddos around, I have forgotten how relaxing and easy it is to spend time with just one kid, especially a well-behaved child like my youngest. It brings me great delight to see him grinning from ear to ear throughout the trip. I guess it is also very rare that he gets Mummy all to himself. Hur hur hur...

Following the traffic rules

Refueling 

At the workshop

Why is the arrow pointing up?!?!

Wheeeeeee!!!

My bolsters :P

Joram: "Mummy, it's a rocket!"

'Swimming' in the ball pit

Chilling out

Lunchtime

Rogi, the green bus

Jelly in a giant syringe

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Blessed 41st


On our 8th wedding anniversary, Joshua and I tried the city tour on an open top double decker bus. We told ourselves that we'll try the amphibious one another time. It actually took us 3 years to fulfil that wish on his birthday! LOL 

It was such a pity that the waiting area was right next to the smokers' corner and thus I felt rather unwell the whole time after breathing in quite a bit of the cigarette smoke I'm so allergic to. Despite that, we really like this trip and enjoyed our humorous tour guide's comments throughout the ride. We actually learnt  a few interesting trivia about our country's places of interest which we never knew. 



There were dragon boats!

Next, we went for a nice coffee break at Joshua's favourite cafe to enjoy a new flavour which he had been wanting to try, before we headed down to the MBS's Sky Park Observation Deck. This was yet another place we'd been wanting to go without the children since they would be so terribly bored within minutes. Plus, you can't imagine how long we had to queue to even go up there! Totally not worth the money to bring the restless kiddos. 

But for us adults, we were mesmerised by the lovely view of the sunset and the city lights. Too bad the weather was not at its best. We kinda expected it to be breezy so high up but instead, the air was rather still and stuffy. 




After that, we went to Toast Box for our dinner. We were rather disappointed with the standard of the food especially since it was so expensive. In fact, Joshua even said that my cooking is far better! Hahaha... We then made it to the light and water show, Spectra. Once again, I was miserably plagued by the selfish smokers who smoked right beside the audience area. It would have been so much better if they had the decency to smoke elsewhere or stop smoking if they had wanted to watch the show too. 

It is so sad that Joshua had to worry about my health while we were out celebrating his birthday. I simply can't wait for the day when Singapore is finally declared a smoke-free society. I sure hope it will actually happen in my lifetime. 

Awful cake which cost so much


Sunday, September 16, 2018

Tsum Tsum Mid-Autumn


After last year's bad experience with the crazy heat and crowd, I thought that a lantern display on top of an air-conditioned mall would be better. I was wrong. There were impossibly long queues for every single installation. In fact, in order to even walk through the "Tunnel of love", we had to stand in line from when the sky was still bright till after sunset. My older boy even refused to go for a second round of waiting to take a picture sitting in the Cinderella carriage. 

I guess Singapore is seriously getting overcrowded. Any special events will be met with crushing swarms of people. *sweat*

At least, the mooncake tea break at Earle Swensen's was a success. My eldest was so thrilled with the passionfruit flavour that he asked to buy another one just for himself! I specially bought Haagen Daz's Harmony Mochi for my older daughter, thinking that it will be less allergenic but her skin did not take too well to it. Thankfully, she thoroughly enjoyed them so I guess the itch was well worth it. *wink*





My eldest was most grouchy to have to wait
soooo long to simply view some decorations

Big brother chose to hide in the aircon mall instead