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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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Lot One

Because Joshua had to catch up on his marking, I decided to take the kids out to give him an uninterrupted and undisturbed afternoon. I took the kids to Lot One since the mall has a nice playground at the rooftop, many kiddy rides, a great nursing room at the basement, a National Library and a Kiddy Palace for the kids.

I'm so glad I managed to coax Joash and Jayna to enjoy some waterplay at the rooftop. All this time, they seemed afraid of the water or they were simply unwilling to get wet. In fact, they were at first complaining about the water splashing onto their clothes and I had to repeatedly tell them that it was okay since I brought along a change of clothes for them. I even had to run around splashing water at them with Jaide in the sling to tease them into having fun. Thankfully I was wearing shorts so I could afford to let my legs become wet and Jaide could sleep in the pram for the second half of the playtime.

All in all, I had a wonderful time out with the kids. The only difficult part was that since Jayna is now officially diaperless in the day (she is completely toilet-trained earlier than Joash by 3 months), the two older ones kept taking turns to go to the toilet. Somehow, their nature's call are never synchronized! I had to interrupt Jaide's nursing time with 5 separate trips to the toilet! At least the washroom was right next to the nursing room. *grin*

Joash was "washing" the fallen leaf
(Note Jaide peacefully sleeping
in the pram in the background)


Jayna: "Look how wet I am!"

Joash: "Ahhh... So much water!"

Joash: "Come, let me help you pass
through the water streams..."

At one of the kiddy rides

Unless she's hungry, Jaide is always happy
in the pram watching everything that goes on
around her.
(Praise God that her personality is more like Joash's!)

Falling Asleep

Joash has not needed to nap in the day for nearly half a year now. And because Jayna always wants to follow her brother or play with him, she simply refuses to nap even when she needs it. Thus, having her fall asleep while eating or playing is a common sight. Here's a video clip to show you what I mean:



Sunday, January 22, 2012

Getting Obvious

JOASH...................JAIDE.....................JAYNA
(It's getting obvious who Jaide looks like...)

Reunion Dinner


This year's reunion dinner is different since my father-in-law is not well enough to travel much. In the past, we would travel to a restaurant to meet up with the rest of the extended family and chat till late at night. This time, we basically had a simple meal at my in-law's place. We're wearing red again since we are on a tighter budget. Perhaps next year we'll see if we can afford to get a different color for everyone? For now, Jaide really looks adorable wearing Jayna's hand-me-down CNY rompers. *grin*

Jaide: "Ain't I cute?"

Jaide: "I'm happy to see you too!"

Jaide: "Why are you still looking at me?"

The three kids get along really well and
they enjoy taking pictures with one another.

Do Re Me!!!

Say cheese!

The older ones look like they're playing poker
but they're actually only holding onto name cards
and exchanging them with each other.

Me and my girls
(A pity that Jaide was sleeping in the sling)

The 鱼生 for the reunion dinner

The humble spread
(Thank you mum, for cooking some of the dishes!)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Eye-Hand Coordination

Jaide has begun to bat at toys!
(Here's a video for your enjoyment. Hee...)


Saturday, January 14, 2012

5th Wedding Anniversary


A family of five in 5 years... What a great blessing from God! Marriage and parenthood have a way of maturing people and Joshua & I are no exceptions. God has graciously molded us towards Christlikeness through all that we've been through (esp during the hellish pregnancies) and we emerged miraculously from the challenges more in love with each other. I constantly thank God for our 3 children and I have a great sense of completion despite not intending to conceive the 4th child. Unless we have the financial capacity to adopt as a form of ministry or get pregnant through divine intervention, this will be the family to love, cherish and nurture for many years to come.

Last year, Joshua promised me that we'll have a professional photo shoot for us and the kids to make up for the absence of one for our wedding 5 years ago. However, with my father-in-law ill, it would be prudent to avoid such luxury and save up the money in case of emergency. Yet, I don't feel disappointed as God has provided free printing of 8R photos, lovely $2 photo frames from Diaso and a good friend who is into photography to take a decent family photo for us. There was no beautiful gowns and nice hairdo or make-up but I'm happy enough.

Blessed family


Our quiver of arrows :P Haha...


We loved the restaurant Kuriya at Great World City. Thus, we employed a baby-sitter to help my mum-in-law with the 3 kids and headed down for a nice lunch there as a couple.

While waiting for the cab...



In the cab


At the restaurant


Some of the food we ate


After the meal


Before we left



Although the food was still nice, they had a change in the menu and tried too hard to cater to the local taste that the food somehow lost their authentic Japanese flavor. Seems like this will be the last time we're patronizing Kuriya.

Dance Funk

I seriously should consider sending Joash for dance lessons... Anyone knows where to find toddler classes for modern dance? Hee hee...

Check out his moves!


Feeding Gor Gor

I'm so glad I can see some form of maturing in Jayna. While in the past, she was fed by her brother (click here to watch), now she is able and willing to return the favor. I'm so proud of her!

你一口,我一口。。。


Homeschooling

One of the activities for the bible study
on Psalm 139:14b
I've finally embarked upon the journey of doing partial homeschooling: the kids go to school in the morning for English and Maths lessons and come home to be taught Chinese and have bible-study with me.

In one and a half weeks, Joash had learnt 20 Chinese characters, albeit some of the words were taught at school before. I was actually surprised that Jayna could recognise nearly half of the words too! (I'm pretty sure she was not taught to read at playgroup) As for bible study, Joash was more interested in the activities and understood better the principle behind the verses while Jayna could memorise the verse better. In fact, I heard her reciting Genesis 1:1 while she was playing with her toys. I must say I was rather impressed. That said, I'm not sure if she really knows what she was saying and you can never know how much Joash actually remembers as he always has this habit of demonstrating what he learnt only when he feels like it.

The start had been tough as they had to get used to a new routine. Jayna throws a lot of tantrums and I have to nurse Jaide while I'm teaching the older children with Jayna sitting on my lap at the same time! Joash needs a lot of coaxing for the writing practice of the Chinese characters and he likes to play a fool for this segment e.g. he would purposely write the word crookedly and he puts a cross on it; while the ones he wrote properly, he would put a tick beside it as if he were a teacher marking his work. It has been difficult getting Jayna to learn her material as she is constantly distracted by the stationary such as the pencil, crayons, eraser etc...

However, I cannot describe the sense of accomplishment I feel when see how much they enjoy it and how quickly they learn. God has been so gracious to me! I hope that as time goes by, Joash will eventually learn to read and perhaps write Chinese. He had been unwilling to speak the language and could hardly recognise any words that had been taught in school previously. Also, I pray that as we continue with the bible studies, the children will know God more and more. Perhaps one day, by the His merciful grace, we'll reap the harvest when they truly put their faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. *wistful*

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Bane or Blessing?

Everyone who has met Jayna will always comment to me about how beautiful she is. Unfortunately, her face is beautiful... but her heart is not.

It is indeed normal for toddlers to throw tantrums. Even a good-natured boy like Joash kicks a big fuss on average about once a day. There are also times when he pushes our limits. Thankfully, it doesn't take long for him to resume his cheerful personality. But to constantly whine and fuss and have 4 or 5 melt-downs per hour? It is ridiculously tiring.

Now that I have 3 children, it has become even more stark how difficult she is. 80% of my time and attention are spent on her. She is often extremely disruptive to the daily routine. In fact, when she's not around (a few times when Joshua took care of her or when she naps) I enjoy my time tremendously with Joash and Jaide. I find myself able to relax without having to hear her persistent deafening siren. She loathe to let me have a moment of peace since whenever I pause for a rest, she'll have new demands for me. More often than not, she doesn't know what she wants as she keeps changing her mind, toying with me as one would a monkey. Furthermore, no matter how much I teach her to be polite in her requests, her tone is terribly rude when she insists on her way. Despite being 2 and a half years of age, she is still as sticky to me as when she was a baby.

It is very easy to resent Jayna for making my life so difficult. It is natural to treat her more harshly and give her less love than the other two children. Yet, I know that this is not what God would have me do. I can either treat her as a curse in my life or understand that God has given her to me to mold my character and refine me by burning away my impurities in the crucible of testing.

With the help of the Holy Spirit's empowerment, I choose, moment by moment, to forgive her never-ending transgressions. I must, as an act of the will, discipline her with love and patience. Even when I don't feel like it, I strive to speak gently and smile when she hurt me. I apologize and seek her forgiveness during times when I do fail and lose my temper despite feeling that I have the right not to treat her kindly after being driven up the wall by her selfishness and willfulness.

Because of her, I have grown in many ways. Because she tests my patience so much, nothing much else can faze me. As I watch her ungratefulness to me after all I've done for her, I am forced to come to terms with my own ingratitude towards God and learn to be thankful for small mercies.

With regards to being thankful, I discipline myself to look at the few areas she actually has grown in. She is now a little more able to listen to reason than a year ago. Thanks to Joash being such a good brother by doing things for her, guiding her towards obedience, playing with her and keeping her entertained as much as he could, she is becoming more happily independent and can allow me out of her sight for a longer period of time than in the past. Very very slowly but surely, she is better at eating without creating a horrendous mess, understanding just that little bit more regarding hygiene and is on the way to being completely toilet trained. She can empathise with others slightly better than before and is able to delay gratification on rare occasions. As much as she is still fickle-minded, emotionally insecure and extremely difficult to please, we have also all gotten used to her idiosyncrasies and can better cope with her temperamental character.

As God is my witness, I've done my level best to love her regardless of my distinct dislike for her needy personality. I can only pray that in God's perfect timing, she will be as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside.

Matthew 18:21-22
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.

Romans 5:3-5
...we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Jaide and Godma

Jaide got to meet her Godma for the first time!

*Kiss*

Jaide:
"Hi there!"

Aww.... So Sweet...

Joash At Play


I'm constantly amazed at the things Joash comes up with on his own when he is at play. The above picture is of the train city he assembled with the available assorted toys. I think it was inspired by the displays he saw at a toy shop. It looks pretty cool, don't you think?

Joash: "Hmm... where shall I place this train?"

The center piece: Thomas the Train!

A different angle to his creation

Below is a short clip of Joash using Jayna's
toy handphone to "take pictures" of his toy vehicles.