Thursday, November 19, 2015

Homeschool Scout with Quek TL 18 November 2015

A DIY plane 

Hui playing with the plane she proudly made. 

Mr Quek 's creative DIY flag pole.

 How to fold, raise and lower the flag. 

Reminiscing Christmas on Ice 2014 - November 2015

As the rehearsal for Christmas on Ice 2015 kicked start, I reminisced the 2014 Christmas on Ice.

Here is the 2014 video snippet.

From a lead of the small kids group, Hui has moved up to perform a short solo this year. En will also be doing a short solo as well.
It is something that they worked for and looked forward to in 2015.

Deepavali On Ice 14 & 15 November 2015

It is their first time being able to perform solo on a performance on ice. Needless to say, they are very happy and loving every second of it. 

 The performance was finally over. They are happy and satisfied but also sad that it is over. I crashed in bed and took two full days to recuperate and get back up on my feet. I felt so exhausted. A sign of desperate need to increase stamina.  

Homeschool Scout with Quek TL 11 November 2015

Jack up Mr Quek's vehicle !!!

Rope climbing and swinging - my children's favourite.  :)

Kidzania Congrezz Kids's testimonials November 2015

Hui's Kidzania Congress Kids term will come to an end pretty soon. The best thing for her is the monthly free entry she gets. She simply love to play at the park. It is a huge play land.

As it is coming to an end, the kids were asked to write a testimonial of what they have learned and what advice they would give to the next batch of Congress Kids. I showed Hui the email from Kidzania.

This is what she wrote,

" I learned that teamwork makes good progress. I also learned that everyone is important and hard work pays off"

When I read the line, I was surprised ! I asked, did Kidzania meetings teach that ? !!
She replied "Huh no, I don't know what to write"
Hahaha I laughed out loud. I said , "" That line is brilliant. I like "everyone is important."  ""

And her advice was " Be prepared to work under noises as the children are noisy".

I asked "hmmm, is there a way to rephrase the advice to be more pleasantly sound? "
Here is the edited version,
"Be prepared to work under noises because all Congrezz Kids are full of ideas"


The Theory of Everything 2015

Someone recommended us this movie. My kids and I huddled and watched together. It was one of the many great moments spent.
I found it an easy way to briefly introduce them to Stephen Hawking. The two young reader books of him have been displayed on the book shelf untouched for some time now. I saw Hui stared at them after the movie, contemplating of reading it. I hope they find pleasure in reading those books.

 For me, I am not a fan of cosmology. What moved me is the quote mentioned in the movie

"It is clear that we are just an advanced breed of primates on a minor planet orbiting around a very average star in the outer suburb of one among 100 billion galaxies. But ever since the dawn of civilization people have craved the understanding of the underlying order of the world. There ought to be something very special about the boundary condition of the universe. And what can be more special than that there is no boundary? And there should be no boundary to human endeavor. We are all different. However bad life may seem there is always something you can do and succeed at. While there is life, there is hope."

However bad life may seem there is always something you can do and succeed at. 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Homeschool Scout with Quek TL (Term 3) 4 November 2015

Using hand drill. 

We started scout after a long break due to haze. Kids are excited to see their scout master Mr Quek again.

There is a long list of tests in order to get "Lencana Keris Gangsa."  It looks difficult. Despite of that, kids are looking forward to tackle each and every one of it.

Outdoor again 29 October 2015

Hui and her water gun
En with Miffy, taking a cat nap under the sun 

It is a huge relief that finally the sky is clear. The kids ran for a dip in the cool of the water. Hui said " It is  sooooo nice that it is impossible to describe"

A Gift in Return 28 October 2015

tote bag, handkerchief and scrunchy

Someone whom we just met gave Hui a beautiful ballet costume. I advised Hui to show appreciation by making something for her in return.  She sewn the tote bag, handkerchief and scrunchy. There is nothing better than a thoughtful handmade stuffs I think.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Prison Museum, Jalan Parameswara Melaka 11 October 2015

Stepping past this green prison gate sent shivers down my spine. 

I was excited stumbling upon this prison museum while driving in Melaka. A visit to a prison has been on En's list for the longest time. And I can't wait (with wobbly legs) to bring her here when she is back from Europe. 

A dummy at the watch tower of the prison. 

We are allowed to take photos inside the prison except at the gallow and corporal punishment area. It was too creepy for me to take any except at the watch tower, in the broad daylight! The prison was quiet when we visited and we were alone most of the time. The ticketing staff said, "Tour guide is only available on the week day."  

Straits Chinese Jewellery Museum, Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock, Melaka 4 October 2015

It is another informative Peranakan museum to help feed the curious mind of my child. 
The colour of the mourning clothing for the Straits Chinese, our tour guide, Julie said. 

A photo of a 12 years old nyonya with elaborate jewellery.  

Hui's drawing 4 October 2015

Perhaps it is due to the frequent visits to Melaka, Hui began to draw nyonya inspired hairstyle. 

Baba & Nyonya Heritage Museum and Cafe 1511 Guesthouse Melaka 3 October 2015

The two lanterns at the corner of the entrance symbolize the family origins and surnames in Chinese. 

We visited this museum 5 years ago and we didn't have a guide back then. This time round, we had a tour guide and that helped us understand the display much better. There are a total of three terrace lots which belong to the Chan family since 1861. The museum occupies two lots whereas the third lot is turned into a cafe and guest house called Cafe 1511 guesthouse. 

Cafe 1511 used to be the servant quarters of the Chan family. 

We booked a room at the attic. The steep climb of the stairs from the cafe at the ground floor led us to the rooms above. 

The windows that overlook the courtyard in the middle of the home below. 

I like it here, being in a historical building. 

Another stairs brought us to our room in the attic. 

The lovely traditional ventilation holes. 

One of the two rooms in the attic. 

Spartan Race Malaysia 10 October 2015

Skinned knee from falling. 

A few of the kids fell when the big group of children started to run. She tripped on someone who fell in front of her. I saw her got up and asked her friend whom has also fallen down if she was okay. Then she ran towards her first obstacles. It was a 1 km run with 16 obstacles for her age group (8 to 10) 

Friday, October 2, 2015

Kids Training Parents!!! 1 October 2015

So my little one handed me this book and said,  "Read it mom, it is so funny." She got the book from the recent book sale. 

Note to self - Watch my words, expression and body language when I speak. 

Holy Moly! I almost wanted to say something when I saw how my older one dressed up the other day !! Yeah, thank you for the great tip Dr Heinz Doozandohntz, I shall get rid of my old photographs immediately. 

"DO persuade your parents to buy you a pet - you need one for company and to teach you a sense of responsibility"
Oh yeah, I bought the guppies! (gulped)

Friday, September 25, 2015

Home grown sweet potatoes 24 September 2015

Sweet potatoes harvested by dad and Hui from our mini garden. :)

Unschool Addition 24 September 2015

Conversation on a car ride,

Hui : Mom, if 10 + 10 = 20, what is 20 + 20 ?

Me: 40

Hui: If 40 + 40 = 80, what is 80 + 80 ?

Me : 160

Hui : if 160 + 160 = 320, what is 320 + 320 ?

Me : 640

Hui : if 640  + 640 = 1280, what is..

Me : "WOW how did you figure that out? "

(yeah, with no conventional teaching or drilling of math)

Hui strolling with grandpa.

You are a Malaysian if ... August 2015

While listening to a radio station on a car ride, 

Radio :  " You are a Malaysian if you can't live without "mamak"

Hui chipped in " YES YES, I can't live without mamak !!!"

Radio:  " You are a Malaysian if you say LAH"

En added  "" You are a Malaysian when you say " like that also cannot ah" ""

Mt Kinabalu 2013

En at Netherlands, Europe 14 September 2015

Some snippets of En in Netherlands. 

At 2am (GMT+8), En typed "Mom, why are you not sleeping?"

I was sleeping. It is like a mother's instinct, a telepathic bonding between me and En,  I awoke, got up from bed and checked the phone. True enough, En sent me a message. And I replied. 

"Because I think of you"
"Because I know you are not sleeping yet and you may beep me and I want to reply to you"

Cooking dinner at Ani & Haakien Hostel, with other guests.

Asking for direction at Rotterdam train station. 

Penning down a travel journal.

Forever feeding animals. 

Exploring Zaanse Schans on bike. 

Haarlem airbnb narrow stair. 

Cycling in Haarlem. 
She fell in love with Haarlem, 

Queuing at Anne Frank Haus for 45 minutes. 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Chicken Soup for the Soul - Just for Preteens by Jack Canfield. Mark Victor Hansen, Amy Newmark 24 September 2015

This book caught my attention while I scanned the books at parenting section. As my older child reached preteen age, I wonder if I would also face the same challenges as would other mothers with preteen age children who has shared their stories with me.

I turned to the back cover which read " You're growing up, your friends are changing, homework is harder, and your life has more ups and downs than it used to"

"Your friends are changing" rings a bell. 
"Why is she not playing anymore? " asked En.  

" When they grow older, they try to look cool." said Hui. 
" They also speak in a different way like why did you guys get upset. It is just one stupid game."  
Hui added we were just playing and the game is not stupid. Stupid is not a nice word.  

I flipped to the "Introduction" page. One paragraph said "We hope you will view this book as a portable support group for preteens, like another friend you can turn to. You might want to encourage your parents to read it also - it will help them remember their own preteen years and better understand what is going on in your life these days! "

I thought, "parents, ME ? yeah, right. "  I bought the book. 

There are 101 stories in the book. Below is an excerpt of Sara Hedberg's sharing.   
"Junior high is a zoo. It's filled to the brim with a lot of naive kids who all want to be top dog, but most of them are a completely different kind of animal. I consider myself a snake because I am hardly ever comfortable in my own skin. I have always been one of the quiet kids. When the spotlight is directed at me, I almost always say the wong thing. Otherwise, I become like a parrot, simply echoing what the leaders of the flock say. Those leaders seem to be chameleons, because they change their appearance at just the right time to stay alive. They are also many mockingbirds in junior high, making fun of everything you say. But don't let those people get under your skin. My advice is this: Don't be a parrot, mockingbird, or snake. Be yourself, whatever animal you are, because this is the greatest gift you have" 

There is so much go through a child's mind.  

I try to grasp each story 's lesson to share and discuss with my children. And I also shared my own story - moving from one rental home to another, endless fight between pa ma, the hardship of meeting the basic needs of living.

I told them to stand by their friends while they are growing up and facing changes or difficulties. Not just them, I need to do the same too for them or their friends.  

Monday, September 21, 2015

In and Around Jalan Tengkera, Melaka 18 September 2015

Our room "kunyit" @RM130
We were back to Cyclamen Cottage again because of its location which is nearer to where we needed to go. We also simply can't get enough of the colonial architecture style building which used to be the home of the British Officials and Peranakan families. 

Our room "kayu manis" @RM160. 
Hui bounced off the wall seeing the four poster bed and got to sleep on one!

The toilet and shower room has a window that faced the roof tops of other houses. So lovely. 

Hui and I had a really fun time showering with the opened-window. 

Nyonya Lian's  fragrant "putu piring" supper  at 252 Jalan Tengkera

We are spoilt for choices at Baba Charlie. There are just too many choices of nyonya kuih.  Adrian, the son of Baba Charlie said his dad has been making "kuih" for 30 long years!  
If En was here, she would have snapped up all these "kuih lapis"

Admiring the back door and other old houses adjacent to Baba Charlie's home. 

Breakfast at Baba Low, 486 Jalan Siantan Seksyen 2. 

Hui managed to clamber onto the high seat of the bus stand.