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Countdown to Joram's Birthday

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Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Christmas 2017

Christmas elves and
gingerbread kids

We did not put up any Christmas decorations at home, nor did we plan any special family outreach program to bless our community this year. That was because I, the sole organiser in the family, was deeply involved in our church's Christmas musical. I was already maxed out bringing the kids for preplanned outings while attending the rehearsals. It was a step of faith, a step I took with fear and trembling, to trust that God would safeguard my ailing health as I proceeded to serve Him in this manner. And He was faithful indeed! Praise God for seeing me through the punishing schedule for the past two months!

Since the actual performance was on Christmas Eve, my battery was beyond flat and could not bring the kids out for our traditional Christmas light walk down Orchard Road that day. We postponed it to Christmas Day instead, despite the fact that there were no street performances to watch anymore. 

Thankfully, Sony Pictures produced an exceptionally beautiful animation movie about the Christmas story: The Star! The munchkins totally adored the animals in the show and laughed like crazy over their silly antics. I appreciate the producers for showing their consideration to the young audience by taking out the parts of the actual historical narration which are not suitable for their age group. 

This year's lights were rather plain as compared to other years'. Even the kids mentioned that the decorations were not as nice as before. Still, there was this interesting tunnel with glow-in-the-dark painted words and designs which the kids enjoyed. The Star Wars theme at Centrepoint was pretty cool to the kids too. I personally found the choo-choo train simulation outside ION Orchard really lovely. Sadly, Orchard Gateway's space theme was simply too weird. Did they run out of ideas after many years of good displays? *shrug*

Joram was really amused
by these giant presents

The children pestered me to get these LED lit bubble balloons for them. I was very reluctant at first to buy when I was told it cost $15 per piece but we managed to find another vendor down the road who was selling it at $10 each. The price was still steep but I figured it was just for a special occasion so I bought it for them. You should hear them squeal in delight when I finally relented. ROFL

However, our resident imp managed to spoil it a mere 10 minutes after purchase by ripping out the wires with her itchy fingers. Sigh... At least she had the decency not to throw a tantrum about it. In the end, the children actually asked me to remove the lights because they only wanted to play with the balloons. I then decided to spruce up my swing chair with the LEDs instead. *wink* I must get my money's worth!

The "naked" balloons


Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Admiralty Park

After hearing so much about the recently opened Admiralty Park, we organised another CG outing. Since we had such a great time doing the picnic dinner previously, we decided to do the same for this trip. Frankly, the last thing I wanted to do, with my schedule packed with rehearsals for our church's Christmas musical, was to bring my whole brood out. However, the kids were looking forward to it so I valiantly trooped down with 4 kids in tow. Thank God that Joshua could take leave to join us if not, I doubt I could have survived!

Making our way there...

I was terribly exhausted so I spent most of the time lying down on the mattress protector which acted as a picnic mat, looking up at the trees and sky above while listening to music. I tried to hold an intelligent conversation with my CG sisters but I was simply too braindead so I contented myself with simply spacing out. 

Needless to say, the children had incredible fun with their friends. Joshua managed to capture some nice shots of them playing on the countless slides and playground equipment there. 

By 6pm, some of the kids started to complain of hunger and so it was time to whip out the food I prepared earlier in the day: baked Japanese sweet potatoes chips (paprika and onion flavoured) and aglio olio corn shell pasta. I asked Joshua to buy seasoned seaweed and almond/oats milk too. Totally love the wonderful group picnic feel. We shared glorious food among the different families.

And off the children went for a second round after the meal and they nearly refused to leave despite our repeated warnings to go off without them. *sweat* I'm just glad the kids loved the place so much.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Bread Factory Tour

A CG mate organised an excursion to the Gardenia Bread Factory. Since they had a minimum age policy, I could only bring the older three along. To help Joram get over his disappointment in not being able to join us, I asked Joshua to bring him to a small indoor playground instead. We took a chartered bus down together with 40 other people. 

On our way...

The first part was a simple introduction to the variety of bread produced by the company. Then, there was a video about the history of the brand. It was an eye opener for the children to enter the actual factory later on. They were shocked at the smell because other than the aroma of the baking bread, they said it reminded them of garbage. I had to explain to them that it was the smell of the yeast mixed into the dough at the first stage of production. They were pretty amazed at the size of the giant bread cooler. Sadly, photo-taking was not allowed in the factory. Before we left, the kids insisted on buying bread from the vending machine despite already having goodie bags of bread given to us by the organisers. *faintz* 

Video explanation

Bread vending machine

Meanwhile at Big Box...

Saturday, December 9, 2017

BB Nature Park

Because God was gracious to us for providing the perfect cooling weather for trekking, I decided to show mercy to my children by letting all four of them come along for this outing. I had half a mind to just bring along Joram, the most obedient child. Joshua originally took leave to babysit the naughty kids at home but ended up having the rare chance to join us! We had so much fun exploring nature with our CG mates, spotting quite a few interesting native flora and fauna along the way.



Brothers strolling side by side

Checking out the brook

Posing with a tree growing
on top of a boulder

Looking out towards the quarry lake

We ended the excursion at the sand playground and the children went nuts playing together there. Meanwhile the adults set up camp nearby to have our huge picnic. Some of us prepared food to be shared among all 22 of us. We enjoyed ourselves so much that we couldn't bear to leave till the sky turned completely dark. What a wonderful trip!

Eating the seasoned corn
and salmon seaweed
rice ball I prepared