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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Thursday, September 25, 2008

What if...

A childhood friend of mine asked me this afternoon a very poignant question: What if Joash rejects Christ when he grows up?

Just last week, during a mother's meeting, we were asked about our hopes and dreams for our kids. Many mentioned good career, great character and even a godly spouse... (Wow! That's far ahead!) I told them that I only have one wish for my children: That is to know God and serve Him wholeheartedly. It doesn't matter if they want to be artists, rock stars, construction workers, missionaries, 谈姐弟恋 or be single for the rest of their lives. As long as they have God, they will make wise choices with God's infinite wisdom, face whatever life can throw at them with joy and peace and find great purpose no matter how long (or short) they live. They'll eventually arrive in heaven, not by their own merit but in the name of Jesus to spend eternity with God.

What if Joash rejects Christ?

As much as I can be faithful in living out the life in Christ for Joash to model, read and explain the bible to Joash daily, pray for and with him, Joash is still an individual. He has his own will and choice. God gave us free will. No one can force him into this life and death decision. He needs to decide for himself whether he wants to be with God or attempt to earn his way to heaven though good deeds which would land him in hell instead as the criteria for heaven is PERFECTION. I would use all my persuasive power to implore him to consider this - If he rejects God and His method of salvation through Jesus, he will get his wish for eternity, as hell has no God. In the absence of God, all that is associated with Him will cease to exist too. Hell has no love as God is love. Hell has nothing good as God is good. There will only be "weeping and gnashing of teeth" (Matt 8:12)

And if he still insist on his own ways?

I would let him go just as the father did with the prodigal son. And pray that he'll find his way back in time. I would grieve, not because Joash would have betrayed my trust and the family religion, not because he would have brought shame to me, not because my own life after death would be affected by him since my salvation is already secure in Jesus' book of life. I would grieve FOR his sake. He would never know the wonders and blessings in trusting Jesus. He would never know the thrills in the adventure of faith in God. He would never know the joy and bliss in spending eternity with the rest of the family of God.

Yet, I don't have to wait till my children grow up and reject Christ before I grieve like that. I have parents and close friends who are unbelievers. After many attempts in sharing the good news, their hearts remain like stone. How long do they have before they face the Maker at the final judgement? How many more chances do they have to respond to Christ before it's too late?

I can only pray and grieve. And you know what? God grieves infinitely more than I do for "He is patient with [us], not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance" (Peter 3:9) Afterall, He was the One who sent His only son to suffer and die for us.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Haircut No. 2

Messy, messy hair... That's what I thought every time I stroked Joash's head for the past one month. What had stopped me from cutting his hair sooner was his godma's mention of an electric razor that might make the job easier. So as promised, she passed it to me this week.

Alas! Joash was very intrigued by the razor and its buzzing sound so it made the job much harder instead... Sigh... Looks like it may come into use only when Joash is old enough to keep still for me. Thus, I reverted to my old method of using the nose-hair trimmer.

This time, I have my Mum-in-law helping me distract Joash and my husband to film the process. Much more pleasant this way, I assure you.


Joash is learning fast! Imagine my surprise when Joash suddenly took the comforter away from me while I was playing peekaboo with him so that he could play it with me too? Now, when he wants to play Peekaboo, he'll get the comforter for me. Catch the video below to see him in action.

It's balanced now

The other incisor came out this week afterall. 

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Art of Giving

2 Corinthians 9:7
"Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver."

Joash has, for the past month, been learning the art of giving. Babies need to learn how to grab things before they understand how to give. Initially, when I say, "Give Mama?" Joash would actually turn away from me. Gradually, he was able to put the toy in my hand but he simply would not let go. Later on, he would grudgingly let go but would cry when I did not give the toy back. These few days, he has become a cheerful giver. Of course, I would reward his mastery of the art by giving him an even more interesting toy to play with in place of the one he gave me.

Often, God takes away or requires us to give Him something so that we can free our hands to receive better things. May Joash learn also to give to God cheerfully in the future.

Here's a story that talks about this principle

The Pearl Necklace

The cheerful girl with bouncy golden curls was almost five. Waiting with her mother at the checkout stand, she saw them: a circle of glistening white pearls in a pink foil box. "Oh please, Mommy. Can I have them? Please, Mommy, please?"

Quickly the mother checked the back of the little foil box and then looked back into the pleading blue eyes of her little girl's upturned face. "A dollar ninety-five. That's almost $2.00. If you really want them, I'll think of some extra chores for you and in no time you can save enough money to buy them for yourself. Your birthday's only a week away and you might get another crisp dollar bill from Grandma."

As soon as Jenny got home, she emptied her penny bank and counted out 17 pennies. After dinner, she did more than her share of chores and she went to the neighbour and asked Mrs. McJames if she could pick dandelions for ten cents. On her birthday, Grandma did give her another new dollar bill and at last she had enough money to buy the necklace.

Jenny loved her pearls.  They made her feel dressed up and grown up. She wore them everywhere - Sunday school, kindergarten, even to bed. The only time she took them off was when she went swimming or had a bubble bath. Mother said if they got wet, they might turn her neck green.

Jenny had a very loving daddy and every night when she was ready for bed, he would stop whatever he was doing and come upstairs to read her a story. One night when he finished the story, he asked Jenny, "Do you love me?"

"Oh yes, Daddy. You know that I love you."
"Then give me your pearls."
"Oh, Daddy, not my pearls. But you can have Princess - the white horse from my collection. The one with the pink tail. Remember, Daddy? The one you gave me. She's my favourite."
"That's okay, Honey. Daddy loves you. Good night." And he brushed her cheek with a kiss."

About a week later, after the story time, Jenny's daddy asked again,
 "Do you love me?"
"Daddy, you know I love you."
"Then give me your pearls."
"Oh Daddy, not my pearls. But you can have my baby doll. The brand new one I got for my birthday. She is so beautiful and you can have the yellow blanket that  matches her sleeper."

"That's okay. Sleep well. God bless you, little one. Daddy loves you" And as always, he brushed her cheek with a gentle kiss.

A few nights later when her daddy came in, Jenny was sitting on her bed with her legs crossed Indian-style. As he came close, he noticed her chin was trembling and one silent tear rolled down her cheek.

"What is it, Jenny? What's the matter?" 

Jenny didn't say anything but lifted her little hand up to her daddy. And when she opened it, there was her little pearl necklace. With a little quiver, she finally said, "Here, Daddy.  It's for you." With tears gathering in his own eyes, Jenny's kind daddy reached out with one hand to take the dime-store necklace, and with the other hand he reached into his pocket and pulled out a blue velvet case with a strand of genuine pearls and gave them to Jenny. He had them all the time. He was just waiting for her to give up the dime-store stuff so he could give her the genuine treasure.

So it is with our Heavenly Father. He is waiting for us to give up the cheap things in our lives so that he can give us beautiful treasure.  Isn't God good? Are you holding onto things which God wants you to let go of.  Are you holding on to harmful or unnecessary partners, relationships, habits and activities which you have come so attached to that it seems impossible to let go? Sometimes it is so hard to see what is in the other hand but do believe this one thing. God will never take away something without giving you something better in its place.

Joash's First Mid-Autumn Festival

Joash with the lit lantern and a glow-in-the-dark clover stick from Daiso

Joash enraptured by the electronic lantern
with its scintillating lights and funky music

Joash's first taste of mooncake!
He had snow-skin pandan lotus paste. *grin*

Later in the evening, we went to Pizza Hut for dinner.
Here are two random videos.

Hands Clapping and Table Banging

Hi Five, Low Five, Baby Five

Crawling Frenzy

I love to play hide and seek with Joash. He will always squeal in delight whenever he spots me and will crawl towards me at amazing speed with joyful frenzy. Here's an effort to cherish such memories of him as an infant. Ahhhh... It's so wonderful to watch Joash grow up!

Psalm 68:3
"...[M]ay the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful."

Fireworks at Equinox


This is a really backdated post cos the video was just passed to me a couple of days ago. A couple of us were celebrating our birthdays at the Equinox on top of Swissotel the Stanford some time in August (You see, I dun even remember the date!). A poor gal like me would never dream of eating at a place like this but my new friend was really generous to treat me to the meal. The cheapest main dish is at least 40 bucks! *choke* Food was ok despite being so exorbitant in terms of price but nothing beats the fantastic ambience. We even got to see fireworks!

I do pray that my best friend from JC and I would continue our tradition since our school days of celebrating our birthdays together. *beam* She'll always be one of my best friends as I would not have known Christ if not for her courage to share the gospel to me regardless of my antagonism back then... A toast to our eternal friendship. *cheers*

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Mug Shot

Thanks to Aunty P for taking such a nice photo of Joash with her "dua ling gong" camera. Joash just happened to be using her legs to pull to stand... Hahaha.... Caught in the act, my little chipmunk!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Where have they been?

Because my friend has gone back to work, Joash and Baby C have not met with each other for quite some time. However, they reunited for a few hours two weeks ago when she was on leave. They are still on very good terms with each other I suppose. Watch the video and you'll see. Heh heh...

ZH's Birthday Party

Munching on pizza slices, chitchatting about life with baby, singing the birthday song, watching the birthday candle on the cheese cake made by my friend being blown out by the birthday boy's mum... What a great party!!! ZH Gor Gor is turning one! Happy birthday!

It seems like babies play well with those of the same age. Looking at the photo below, you can tell that Joash and ZH are buddies. How amusing...

Here's another pair of 青梅竹马! They are even holding hands!
ZH: So are we the Power Rangers
or the Planeteers from Captain Planet?

It is virtually impossible to make everyone look good with so many babies involved! ROFL


Joash: Heeeha! Your horse looks a lot like mine, sonny!

Another tooth

Here's the updated tooth chart of the new tooth. The right lateral incisor is on its way out too...

Friday, September 5, 2008

At long last!

The lift is finally ready today!!! Yippee! I guess it must be difficult for anyone else to understand my euphoria at this seemingly ordinary event. If you have actually carried the stroller with baby, bag and barangs down 4 flights of stairs regularly for 10 months, you'll probably agree with me that the lift landing is a much anticipated commodity. When we first moved in, we were told that the lift should be done by the time my baby is out. But alas, there were terrible delays in the upgrading due to the lack of suitable parts required for its completion. In fact, there had been two postponements regarding the expected completion date. Nearly vomited blood...

Now that the lift is done. I can safely plan for my next kid. Just one more problem... I may not be able to care for baby if the pregnancy symptoms are going to be as bad or worse than my first one. I'm looking for a good short term nanny who is willing to come to my place to look after Joash during the day. Preferably a Christian. Am I asking for too much? *wink* Do let me know if you have any suggestions, yah?

P/S: Of course, I would love to have an easy time like my many ex-colleagues had if I have a choice. Hee hee...

Melbourne Trip Part 4: Scenery

I'm very grateful that Joshua was with me during the trip cos I would not have had the opportunity to take pictures of the beautiful scenery if he weren't there taking care of baby. Most of the shots were taken from a moving vehicle (i.e. bus, boat, helicopter) It was a wonderful experience to see the glory of God's creation and I marvel at the works of His hands. Here's the compilation of the photos I took of Melbourne City and the Great Ocean Road. *smile*

Melbourne Trip Part 3: Wedding

Vivi and Meow Meow

And yupz... We're at it again. Taking silly photos.
The Flower Wars

We thought that the wedding cake baked by her churchmate was absolutely gorgeous. So we wanted to take a pic with it... Hmmm... Doesn't it seem very much like it was our wedding instead? :P

Here's the song I sang and the speech that I made at their wedding. The monitor was really blasting at me during the song and I was trying very hard not to sing too loud for the feedback to become obvious. I wish I had established some hand signals with the sound crew to let them know the problem with the monitor's volume. Because of that, I could not really concentrate very well on expressing the song. Sigh... I'm just glad that nobody noticed my discomfort.

Melbourne Trip Part 2: Family Photos

At the airport

Outside the couple’s house

At the church

The Melbourne Cruise

In Melbourne City

The Great Ocean Road Tour

Melbourne Trip Part 1: Joash

Joash had been such a great traveller! Praise God! There were a few techniques I employed to make life easier with baby.

1) We traveled at night. This way, baby would be sleeping most of the time. I wouldn't want to worry about entertaining Joash for 8 long hours! (esp since he cat naps in the day) True enough, Joash was asleep most of the time, either in the bassinet or in our arms during turbulence. There is a safety regulation that requires us to take baby out of the bassinet and attach his seat belt to ours during air turbulence, which happens half the time we were in the air. Sigh! We had to hold onto Joash for almost 3 hours in total! So much for having a bassinet seat... But then again, carrying him for 3 hours is already much better than having to hold him throughout the flight!

2) We had plans to get his milk bottle ready during take-offs and landings. However, we made the mistake of putting the baby bag in the overhead compartment at first. By the time we remembered to get the bottles, we had to stay belted in and poor Joash cried the whole 15 min's worth of take-off. I think he was also hungry in the first place and it was his first time taking the plane so he might have been frightened, too, by the noise and perhaps the ear popping. Anyways, he was fine during landing as we learnt from our mistake and kept one bottle of milk with us beforehand. In fact, during our flight home, Joash slept through both the take-off and the landing! That's my boy!

3) I kept my watch at S'pore time and followed the usual schedule as much as I could. By the grace of God, the 2 hours time difference was a great bonus. Joash could "stay up" with us to attend night gatherings and the night wedding rehearsal without much disruption cos by the time we got back to Uncle A’s place at 10pm in Melbourne, it was just nice Joash's 8pm bedtime back in S'pore. We didn't even have to worry about waking up later to get more rest as 8am in Melbourne was 6am in S'pore, Joash's normal waking time. Joash had no problem at all with the time difference. He didn't even miss a beat! No adjustment problems whatsoever there and back. Amazing....

4) Since I already trained Joash back in Singapore to listen to me when I say "no", it was a lot easier to teach him not to touch certain things like the heater, CDs, newspaper and such at both my best friend’s and Uncle A’s place. He was already used to having me set the boundaries in a new place. Thank God! I could almost give him as much free reign to explore as in Singapore.

5) We bought Joash new toys over at Melbourne so that he will be kept entertained. I got the nested toys so that everything is compact enough to carry around when put together and yet numerous enough for variety when taken apart. It reduces the weight and bulk of our luggage going there too since we didn't bother bringing old toys over. :)

6) God has made Joash sociable. I'm so thankful to God that he has no stranger anxiety! It made life so much easier as other people could help care for him and everyone absolutely adored him. What's even better was that my BFF's churchmate could babysit him for us during our last day so that we could have some double dating time. He didn't fuss much at all! Hallelujah!

7) We were very blessed by the family of God in the couple's church as they loaned us many baby things and saved us the trouble of bringing ours. The stroller, high chair, bathtub and car seat were all kindly loaned to us by various individuals. We are one in the bond of love....

8) Instead of buying thick clothing (which can be very expensive) for the chilly weather, I chose to keep Joash warm by putting on many layers of clothes. He will usually have his PJs (onesies) as the innermost layer, followed by a long-sleeves top and long bottoms. Then I put on the rompers to keep the top and bottom from separating which may expose baby to the chill. Next, I put on matching booties, mittens and hat. The last piece would be the $15 green Osh Kosh hooded jacket which I bought just for this trip. As you would be able to see from the video, Joash sleeps in the IKEA sleeping bag at night with the normal PJs. It really helped to keep him warm and snug.

There are so many cute photos of Joash that I thought it more efficient and space saving to compile them into a movie. So please sit back, relax and enjoy "Joash's first trip to Melbourne"!