Countdown to Joash's 6th Birthday

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Countdown to Joram's Birthday

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Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Philosophy on Education


My eldest is taking PSLE this year and I have so many people asking me whether it is especially stressful and busy for my child and I. My nonchalant response probably made them scratch their heads. You see, I have never been one to angst over my children's academic performances. I don't make them take tuition or enrichment classes unless they ask for it. I never scold them for the results they bring home. Instead, I encourage them to try their level best and give them tips on improving. 

My expectation for them regarding school has always been to fulfil all their responsibilities as a student such as completing all assigned homework and not having the teachers call me to complain about bad behaviour or attitude. They can always approach my husband and I for help with their assignments but we will not rescue them from the consequences of laziness or forgetfulness. They have to take ownership of their own education and face the music if they make mistakes. 

Things remain status quo during the 'exam period'. We still attend church and bible study. Library trips and family outings continue as per normal and as long as they finish their homework, they can play as much as they want. After all, I find the education system already so tiring and pressurising for students these days. I rather they enjoy their fleeting childhood. 

I used to dream of homeschooling my kids because I would love to cater to their different learning styles, abilities and interests. However, my poor health condition did not allow for that to happen. So the next best thing is to give them space apart from school to do what they like. I am more concerned with their character growth because that is what will help them succeed in life.

There is so much more to life than the academics. 

I know of countless individuals who did well in school but failed in life. Numerous ones were condemned by the system, only to prosper when they found their niche and calling. Some even eventually discover fulfilling professions totally different from what they were certified to do after years of education.

I feel it so much more important to teach them life skills so that they can survive well in this turbulent world and know how to take care of themselves after they "leave the nest". I have an age-appropriate list of things I want them to learn and I aim to have them capable of living on their own by the age of 16. Who knows? Any one of them might find him/herself going overseas to further their education.

Furthermore, I trust in God's help and guidance in the lives of my little ones. As long as they have a loving relationship with their Creator, they will thrive wherever they are and in whatever they do in the future. I was overjoyed when each of them accepted Jesus as their Saviour and Lord and had, one by one, embarked on the exciting adventure with Him.

I could not have been prouder of my firstborn son when he was selected to be the Mother Tongue Language Champion not because he is good at the subject. Rather, he was chosen because he was the most well-behaved student in his class. Despite being academically weak, he was given the All-Round Development award. To me, these are the things that truly matter.

Friday, May 10, 2019

The Great Xcape


Last week, we celebrated Mother's Day for my mum. Tomorrow, we're celebrating it for my mum-in-law. Today, we did it for me! *all smiles* As usual, I like to try out new things. All along, ironically, I found it upsetting to "celebrate" with my children because I always ended up super busy taking care of my 4 offsprings and getting bombarded with all manners of nonsense from them. I much preferred to go out with my loving husband on special dates and leave the tedious care of the kids to my in-laws. This year, I thought that the children have become more sensible so I took them along with us to try out Xcape, the "No.1 Real Room Escape Game in Singapore". I chose the Kungfu Panda X - The Revenge of Tai Lung (Funtasy) because it looked the most suitable for young children.

But before that, Joshua took me out to Kintan BBQ Buffet for lunch, followed by watching a not-as-good-as-I-expected movie Pokemon Detective Pikachu. Then, I indulged in my favourite Gong Cha milk tea while Joshua tried the mango snow ice from 记得吃 dessert place. Next, it was time to go home to get our kids and my lovely mum-in-law who was watching over them. We were hoping that doing an advanced booking for a 7-seater cab would ensure that our whole family would reach the place on time. But alas! The driver cancelled on us last minute. In the end, it was so stressful trying to get alternative transport. We had to split into two regular taxis and arrived late. Thankfully, there was apparently no customers right after our slot so we could still enjoy the full experience. 

It was surprisingly fun, even though Joshua and I did most of the puzzle-solving. I kinda wished that the counter staff had told us to remove our socks beforehand since we were stuck at one section of game where the sensors were heat-activated. We were wondering why we just couldn't get it to detect us properly. Due to that, we did not complete the escape, leaving two puzzles unsolved. That said, I think we did pretty well being so close to getting out of the room by ourselves. The kids actually commented that it was fun for them too. I'm also very glad that my mum-in-law could participate despite her limited mobility. 

We ended the night with dinner at Bugis Junction's Yoshinoya. I was pleasantly delighted by their quick service even with the dinner crowd. The children totally loved the food! Looks like this experiment of enjoying part of the celebration with my four darlings is quite the success. I'm looking forward to involving them more in the future.

The girls posing in front of the poster
while we waited for the guys to arrive
in the second cab.

The Seven Kungfu Pandas!!!

I can always expect beautiful craftwork from my elder girl


P/S: I got to update my phone’s lock screen background pic! I attempted to recreate the photo from Mother’s day 2 years ago. Everyone was wearing the same outfit except my second daughter taking over her older sister's outgrown dress. It was really difficult to get the kids NOT to make monkey faces and funny poses... ROFL

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Jurong Lake Gardens


With the opening of the newest garden, Lakeside Garden, among the Jurong Lake Gardens, I thought to make it our next biking destination. We had already completely toured the other two established gardens, the Chinese Garden and the Japanese Garden. Coupled with the arrival of Joshua's new ride we got online, it would have been nice exploring the whole place as a family. Except......

Sadly, despite being the most expensive of all our bicycles, Joshua somehow found it extremely difficult to cycle on it. He was lagging so far behind us that he had to ditch us and bring the bike home in a cab! *faint* Sooooo, I found myself having to watch over all four kids alone throughout the journey. Worse still, Joshua carried our water bottles in his bag. Horror of horrors! We were so dehydrated halfway through. 

Thank God for a convenience store at the MRT station nearby where I could purchase isotonic drinks with Apple Pay since I didn't bring my wallet and only had my phone with me! I've never been so grateful for this new mode of payment. Hahaha...

Anyway, I totally underestimated the crowd at the garden, especially today being a public holiday. My eldest actually asked me whether we could go back there ONLY after the hype is over. ROFL I'm just glad that we could just breeze around on our bikes looking at the throngs of people from afar. Hee hee. 

Now, we got to figure out what's wrong with the new bicycle....

The offending bike

It was pretty good at the beginning...

This cute installation was not as
packed with people

Weird bird mascot

Discovered a "sea" of mushrooms!

Monday, April 29, 2019

Joram is Six!


This year, Joram celebrated his birthday with his cousins. I thought that it'd be nice for the 3 of them to share a Thomas-the-Train themed 3D cake but I made the mistake of ordering a fresh cream cake instead of a fondant one. I had been sick for the recent two weeks so my brain was not functioning very well... *nervous laughter* The cake did not taste good and it was a nightmare cleaning the cream off the toy trains which acted as part of the decor. At least, Joram was happy with his Hot Wheels present.


Eating the tree cake decor
made of chocolate & fresh cream

Thanks to his aunt for
painstakingly cleaning
the cream from the train

Thursday, April 11, 2019

ASPIRE


My older kids' primary school gives out character pins to students who exhibit the traits which the school encourages them to cultivate. My no. 2 has been doing very well in this area and was awarded with 4 of those pins: Ambition, Self-discipline, Integrity and Respect. When no. 3 entered P1 last year, she clinched the Perseverance pin, demonstrating how she can use her head-strong personality for good. Now, we are only left with the last pin Empathy to form the word A.S.P.I.R.E. which is the full set of values the school embraces. I wonder if Joram will be the one getting that when he goes primary school next year...

Successful Bike Trip

OTW at a traffic junction

We haven't had the chance to go cycling ever since I started serving in the youth ministry which falls on Saturdays, the day we go normally on our family bike trips. So I took one Saturday off to finally take the whole family to Chinese Garden. The first time we went there last June, I took only the older two and we didn't have the time to explore the place, except for the first pagoda. This time, we manage to all ride our bikes there and went around as a family. I'm so glad that Joram has developed the stamina and ability to go such a long way from home. As oppose to our first destination at Little Guilin, this outing was much more enjoyable. 

As mentioned before, I got down to buying a foldable bicycle online since renting has become so difficult. I also purchased a big cupboard to keep it as the bicycle shed is already full with the children's bikes. It worked pretty well so we are getting one for Joshua too before all the bike rental company go bust. 

Me and my spanking new ride

All 4 kids at the top

Family Photo!!!

Joram admiring the scenery

Struggling against gravity

All our bikes parked together

A bird photo-bombed us! LOL

Spotted a monitor lizard

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Early Valentine's Day


Today, Joshua picked me up from my part-time work place so that we can have an early Valentine's Day celebration. We started the evening with a lovely dinner at White Kitchen where they sell the nicest yakisoba I've ever tasted and Joshua's newly discovered favourite drink, Summer Coconut, whereas my preferred drink was Okinawa milk tea with pudding, bought from Share Tea after our meal. Despite choosing 30% sugar level, my tea was still too sweet for me. It was perhaps due to the pudding. Looks like I'll have to go for zero sugar the next time I buy this beverage. 



This is so yummy!
I must remember to ask them to
withhold the sesame seeds next time.


After that, we went to watch The Lego Movie, the second part. We found the long corridor to the toilets, fraught with flickering lights, super creepy and I decided to star in my own horror movie! Bwahahaha!!! I asked Joshua to take a few short clips of me standing under the damaged bulbs from various distances. Then, I used an app to put them together with spooky filter, included some scary music and voila! Trailer for the latest horror movie acted by yours truly! *wink* On hindsight, I should have ditched my bags to make it even more convincing...


We ended off the night by challenging the special super spicy chilli sauce that goes with Eng's wanton noodles. I could only take a few bites before passing the rest of the bowl to Joshua to finish up. Hur hur hur...

Photo credit:
DanielFoodDiary.com

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Movie Marathon

How To Train Your Dragon Trilogy


We did reunion lunch in advance on Saturday this year. Learning from last year's mistakes, our portion estimate was better though I still had enough leftover ingredients to cook for dinner. After the sumptuous steamboat meal, we watched the first "How to train your dragon" movie, followed by tea break and then watching the second installation. We finish up our fried rice and fishball soup before heading down to the theatres to watch part 3 on the big silver screen. 

This was the first time we attempted such a feat! We all enjoyed the strong sense of continuity very much and got to fully appreciate the development of the characters throughout the trilogy. Joram, being the youngest, was pushed to his limit since we ended the day later than usual. He got cranky the next day from tiredness despite being allowed to sleep in. 

Monday, January 21, 2019

Belated Celebration


On the actual day of our 12th wedding anniversary, both Joshua and I were really busy. I had a ministry function to attend while he had responsibilities at our cell group gathering. We even had to rush down to an advanced reunion dinner with my parents in the evening. It was really sweet of him to plan a song item right after our function with a dear friend who was one of the "brothers" for our wedding and is also currently in the same worship ministry as me. 

SURPRISE!!!

Even though I thought that last week's surprise was enough of a celebration, Joshua still wanted us to have a proper one with just the two of us just as we did in the past years. I'm so glad that my MIL moved in with us so it is so much easier now to ask her to eyeball the kids while we went out for a half-day date after church yesterday. 

After a sumptuous lunch at our favourite Shabu Shabu Hotpot place, we headed down to The Rink. All this while, whenever I bring the children to ice-skate, I would either be taking care of a baby at the spectator seats or too busy helping the younger ones learn to skate to enjoy it myself. We took this opportunity to go there by our carefree selves.



After that, we went around trying different types of interesting beverages which we have always wanted to try but had not the time or presence of mind to do so in our daily grind. They were really worth the extra sugar we consumed except for the one from KE茶. It looks pretty but it is simply lychee flavoured ice water with colouring from butterfly pea flower...


Despite the fact that I know those toy crane machines are rigged to stop anyone from actually catching the plushie, I still wanted to experience the thrill of the chase just once. I happily wasted $40 in total playing them, till the guy in charge of the place took pity on me and opened the machine to place a cute little squeaky toy near the edge of the drop zone so that I could simply nudge it down! ROFL At least I got a souvenir. Hahaha...


Finally, we ended the night with a Japanese anime movie "I want to eat your pancreas". I saw the poster and I was suddenly inspired for us to imitate the characters. Joshua's pose was super easy to do but mine was next to impossible to replicate. I had to tiptoe, stretch my arms behind me, arch my back and turn my head backwards all at the same time!!! We took the shot for each other and I pieced the two halves together. It's a little off but that's the best I can do using the photo app on the phone to do cropping. *sweat*


Saturday, January 5, 2019

Family Bike Trip


After the successful experiment at East Coast Park, Joram is ready to go for a real bike trip with the rest of the family! *clap clap clap* We all cycled to Little Guilin almost 2km away from our home. Previously, only the older two went with me while Joshua stayed behind with the younger two to practice riding around our neighbourhood. This time, the whole gang could travel there together in a single file. 

To my dismay, the ofo bikes which Joshua and I have been renting are getting harder and harder to find. It took walking a few streets away to find them when there used to be so many of them just downstairs. We are now contemplating buying our own bicycles but I'm still figuring out where to store them...

Anyways, the children were rather disappointed with the place because it was terribly hot and the cobbled paths around the granite lake made it difficult to move around on our bikes. Looks like the Chinese and Japanese Gardens, where I rode to with the big brother and big sister in the past, were more appropriate destinations. That shall be where we'll go for our next family bike trip.