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 Birthday

Lilypie - Personal pictureLilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Countdown to Joram's Birthday

Lilypie - Personal pictureLilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Perseverance

Jaide has shown great determination in getting what she wants. She goes at it without feeling frustrated and persists till she succeeds. The below video illustrates that. Having set her eyes on my handphone, she willingly climbed over the obstacle (me!) more than 40 times. I got tired before she did! LOL In the end, I did reward her by letting her explore my phone for 5 min. Attagirl!


Friday, August 24, 2012

Mirror Mirror

Combing their hair

We did not install any mirrors in the children's room for safety reasons. Whenever the kids need the mirror, they'd have to go to my room. Recently, it has become quite an inconvenience as the kids are more conscious about the way they look and have begun to ask to go into my room to preen in front of my mirror. Jayna, especially would want to see how she looks when I do up her hair. Most of the time, Jaide would be napping in my room so that she will not be woken up by the brother and sister's loud playing. Thus, when they need a mirror during such a time, they start asking me why there isn't one in their room.

I finally decided to invest in a child-safe mirror from IKEA since it was my birthday month and I could get triple the bonus points for my purchase. I also got the matching toy box so that I can put Jaide's toys there. The toy shelf is getting pretty crowded by now!

How it looks opened...

... and closed.

The Swivel Chair

There are many things that have been passed down from one sibling to the next, such as toys, clothes and furniture. However, there's one thing that is surprisingly pretty special to all of us: The swivel chair. It was not meant for children. It wasn't even something we bought. It was a hand-me-down. Unexpectedly, the children love it so much that the older kids discovered how to spin on the chair without any help! 

Due to bad water stains on the fabric, I've been contemplating throwing it out for while and I have no intention of spending the money for a new swivel chair that can spin well to replace it. But now, even Jaide enjoys spinning on it. It has become some sort of a tradition for the kids. Ah, what to do? (Click HERE for the older children's spinning clips.)


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A Day at the Beach

Our sandcastle

The kids learnt about the beach (沙滩) during Chinese lesson the other day and they showed a lot of interest in sandcastle building and the whole concept of the seaside. However, due to Jayna's eczema and Joash's squeamish response to walking barefooted on the beach in the past, we've yet to bring them to the beach to play. We did go to the ECP for cycling before but the memory was fuzzy for them too. So what better way of learning about the beach than going to one and experiencing it for themselves? I promised them we'll take them to the beach the next public holiday. So despite running a fever myself, we went to ECP on Hari Raya. 

Filling up the lobster
mold with sand...

... and 'printing' it out.

Their enthusiasm for actual sandcastle building lasted a mere half an hour. In the end, they were far more excited about pouring endless sea water into the 'swimming pool' that I dug out for them. So I became really busy trekking back and forth the sea to get water for them! LOL

Watering the pool

More water please?

I'm surprised that I
didn't look unwell at all!

At least, I managed to coax Joash into experiencing the feeling of the waves drawing the sand from under our feet. But only for a few seconds. And he was off to pour more water down the bottomless pit. Sigh... I guess they were intrigued as to why the water keeps disappearing. Perhaps it was also therapeutic? Joash did ask why the sea waves kept lapping onto the beach and I'm glad he could understand my simplified explanation.

Isn't it nice, Joash?

Jaide was asleep in the
carrier most of the time.

Before we ended the fun, I picked some seashells for the kids as mementos. They were delighted with them and held onto them like treasure. Jayna actually started putting them in her hair and asked us if she looked pretty! I wonder where she learned to do that... Back home, the kids played with the shells as if they were money tokens despite my warning to them that they are in fact quite fragile. Well, you can easily guess what eventually happened to the shells.

Look, children! Seashells!

Am I pretty?

All that was left.

I brought along the frisbee cos I knew that Joash would love to try his hand at it. He was really getting pretty good and we could catch the frisbee that each other threw rather frequently. He had so much fun that it was tough ending the session to go home for dinner. 

See his sheer delight!

Missing a nap


Jaide pulled the same stunt as her brother after missing her afternoon nap cos she wanted to play instead. (Click HERE for the earlier post) She, too, actually fell asleep at the dining table BEFORE dinner was served. Only this time, I didn't manage to catch the nodding off part in time cos we were too busy settling the older kids for dinner to notice that she was heading off to lala-land. :P Anyhow, I did capture the last part though, so enjoy. :)


Friday, August 10, 2012

Happy Birthday Singapore!

Jayna has been looking forward
to hanging up this flag she made
in school for the past week.

We're continuing the newly-formed tradition of celebrating National Day from last year so as to teach the children to love and serve our nation. 

During the day, I decided to bring the kids to the public swimming pool a few blocks from our home, killing two birds with one stone. The story being that Joash forgot to tell me about the visit to the swimming pool organized by the school a few weeks ago and it just happened that I missed reading the consent form that was supposed to have been put in his bag. He was very disappointed that he couldn't go on the actual day and when I found out later that day, I promised him we'll bring him there ourselves. We've never brought the kids to public pools partly due to the higher chlorine levels and also that it would most likely be more crowded. But now, I figured that Jayna and Joash were old enough for it. (Jaide, still too young, would stay dry with me.) And praise God that there were only a few people there even though it was a public holiday!


Getting started

Joshua trying to coax Jayna
to go deeper and failed

Off on his own in his trusty boat float

Went down this slide
countless times

Contented to simply splash water

Daddy teaching son
to do the flutter kick

Jayna decided that she has had enough of the water and wanted to go back. However, Joash wanted to stay so I took the girls home while Joshua continued on with our son. He loved it so much that despite our caution regarding sunburn, he was at it for more than 4 hours! As we feared, he did complain about his face feeling as if it were badly scratched after the effects of being in the sun for too long set in. Let's hope that he'll heed our warning the next time round.

Finally, it was time for the National Day Parade. Armed with the flags saved from last year, the older kids got ready to watch the show on TV. No home-made jellies this year but there were pretty candies galore! I saw these beautiful sweets in a shop last week and couldn't resist getting them. Plus, I've almost never allowed my kids to eat anywhere else in the house except at the dining table. Today, I've made an exception. Watching TV, enjoying sweets and eating in the living room: all the restricted things made 'legal' to show what a special day it was!

Yay! We're going to eat at the coffee table!

The colors are so attractive!

First time eating
while watching TV!

Further indulgence:
Nuggets for dinner!

Packet milk, anyone?

After dinner, they found the marches a tad boring so they decided to play with their toys while keeping an eye on the show. Joash built a tower and placed the flag on top! Haha...

It's National Day after all...

Switched off the lights during the fireworks.
Look at them waving their flags enthusiastically!

As part of educating the kids to honor and respect our nation, I taught them to stand at attention during the singing of the national anthem and place their fist over their hearts during the saying of the pledge. Hmm... Preparing them early too, for primary school's flag raising ceremony? LOL

Doing it in all seriousness

That was not all! After the program was over, we took them downstairs to play with sparklers as an extension of the fireworks viewed on TV. I saved the sparklers someone gave to my kids just for this occasion. Thankfully, I forced the children to take a nap in the day so that they could stay up past their normal 8pm bedtime without getting cranky. (Surprise, surprise! Joash could not fall asleep in the afternoon despite swimming for so long. Instead, he merely rested for 20 min.)

Jaide watched from a safe distance

The best reward I received for planning the celebration was Joash's comment at the end of the day, "Today, I had soooo much fun!"


Saturday, August 4, 2012

Turning 33


Today, we celebrated my birthday in advance. Joshua and I pre-booked my mum-in-law and her church mate to babysit our kids and off we went for a sumptuous lunch. But before that, let's take a look at the pictures my older kids drew for me as birthday gifts in the morning.... "Thank you, children, for your willingness to do this for me!"

A birthday cake, a bouquet of flowers
topped with a rainbow and me
in a pretty dress designed by Joash!

As for Jayna's, she herself
couldn't even tell me what it was.
So, go figure. LOL

The best thing that happened when we reached our dining destination Kuishinbo was that if I were to sing the restaurant jingle and take a video of it, I would get to spin the wheel for a discount on our lunch bill. So, why not? I did just that and got a 30% discount! So happy... "Thank you, God, for your birthday gift to me!" Hee hee...

Best company in the world!

Great food!

Desserts

Yum Yum!
I ate till I was
totally stuffed!

The bouquet of bears which Joshua gave me last year (click HERE to see it.) was destroyed by my children, thus Joshua got me a simpler one, i.e. one that's less likely to get destroyed, to replace it. I took out the dozen little bears from the old bouquet and gave them to my kids to play with in the end. "Please don't spoil Mummy's precious present from Daddy again, okay?"

Posing with my new bear bouquet

That's not all. Joshua even let me go for the choir social dinner gathering while he and my mum-in-law did the bedtime routine! Yay! Though the time was short, I had fun tonight catching up with old friends and meeting new ones. "Thank you both so much for your sacrifice to make my birthday enjoyable!"

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Birthday Reverie

As my 33rd birthday approach, I get all pensive.

As a child, I had struggled with significance... A LOT. To cut a terribly long story short, I was so lonely that I was suicidal. (For more info, click HERE for my full testimony.) It's simply mind-boggling for me to realise how different from my youth my attitude in life is now. In the past, being alone was so insufferably hard to bear. But now, I don't even fully register how truly alone I am most of the time. I'm literally living my life to the audience of One: God. 

I barely have that few people I still keep in contact with from my single days. In this time and age, who seriously has a meager 134 "friends" on Facebook??? (Okay, I admit that I have a strict criteria regarding who I add as friends. :P) Out of which, only a handful actually do communicate with me on Facebook. And even though I have a blog, it's more of a personal journal as hardly anyone reads it, unlike the blogs of far more popular and accomplished acquaintances whom I know. (Not that I took any real effort to publicize it.) I don't see my worship teammates outside ministry time and my cell group meets infrequently. Despite having deeper connections with the ladies in my CG, we have precious little face-time, or voice-time for that matter, with one another. I don't even see my extended family much at all. As a home-maker, the only adult I see and regularly speak to is my husband. 

Still, I don't feel the harsh, cold bite of loneliness and I wonder why. Is it that I know the mission God has for my life and I'm right smack in the middle of His will? Am I too busy and exhausted trying to fulfill my role as a godly wife and mother that I hardly have time to reflect? Or am I simply dulled emotionally to the pain of loneliness after almost 5 years of being a SAHM?

It took me a few moments to calculate how old I'm turning this year. Is 33 years old considered mid-life? I sure hope that God is pleased with the works of my hands and the meditations of my heart... *wistful*