Monday, March 31, 2008

Mabuhay

This word greeted me as I walked out from the Manila International Airport, "Mabuhay" means welcome in Tagalog. There was a big crowd at the custom clearance booths, majority were Philippinos while others were the faces of the Chinese, Japanese, Europeans etc…. that’s why we called international airport. Next I went to the baggage area to locate my luggage which took quite a while, the crowd is building by now, I spotted my luggage and went straight to the “nothing to declare” lane, walk through a zebra crossing, down a small tunnel and reached an open waiting area.

This is my third trip to Manila, so I’m quite familiar with the settings but for those first timers, it can be quite disoriented at first. I’m supposed to wait for my colleague at the waiting area labeled “ABC”, the weather is very humid and I understand it is summer in Philippines and now is one of the months where the temperature can climb up to 35 or 36 degrees in the day. The day will get bright by 5.00am and the sun goes down at about 6.30pm. I waited for about 15 minutes and my colleague was there in a big four wheel drive. The journey to the hotel (Vivere,Alabang) took around an hour. I sat lazily at the back seat, enjoying the view and people watching.

90% of the vehicles on the road are big four wheel drives and MPVs, could hardly see sedan cars, reason is the road condition even the expressway are in bad condition, quality is poor and most of the roads are damaged due to floods, so they need higher end cars to ensure the ride is not too bumpy and the drive more bearable. I went out for a simple dinner, I checked in, took a warm nice bath, hopped onto bed, checked on the cable TV and knocked down by 11pm, tomorrow will be a very long day…………….

"ABC" waiting area and crowd


Those waiting for their loved ones, more like "Pudu Raya" bus station eh?


31st floor panaromic view from the hotel (where I took breakfast every morning)






Hotel lobby


Golf course - a place where we took lunch




Room service, dinner in the room... I met with an accident, will blog about it later..


On the way to work, crossing a bridge....

Cloud nine

I have never been able to catch pictures of the magnificent cloud landscape, but things were pretty different last Tuesday. I managed to take a window seat and captured all these photos. As you can see the pattern of the clouds changed as we flew from Penang to Singapore, not so sure of the texture, can’t touch them. It all started with groups of cotton-like formation, then with layers of thin paper-type pattern, followed by a bed of soft-wool type and lastly a pool of soft-foamy whitey. While approaching the island I managed to snap the neighboring baby islands surrounded by the clear blue sea…………

Cotton-like cloud


Paper-like cloud


Foamy cloud


Baby islands

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Little angel


Yes, I'm back, it's good to be back, in fact it's super good to be back, to be with family again, to breathe the air of my homeland and to sleep on my nice cozy bed. Got so much to blog about, but first things first, while I was away, I received 2 smses from my Pastor, his son was being admitted to ICU for severe fits and needed support in prayers.


Being a parent, it teaches me what sacrificial and unconditional love are, I believe you automatically inherit these once you hold your own child into your hands. Little angel* had been diagnosed with encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain 15 months ago, one of the symtoms that he is experiencing are uncontrolled fits due to the massive activities in his brain cells, the cause - virus infection, the virus - the doctor had yet to determine the originality.


For the past 15 months, our Pastor, his wife and family members had been unconditionally and painfully (emotional) taking care of little angel, going through a rollercoaster, uphill and downhill emotional and physical endurance journey. It has been a very tiring time for the family but in spite of all these, little angel brings hope, revival and lessons of life to surrounding people that could not have been learnt in any other better way. The sickness in this little boy is a blessing in disguise to many families and sends awakening messages to many souls.


Yesterday evening was spent with little angel's mother, listening to her heart, sharing about God's goodness and coming together in prayer. It is our desire that if God wants to heal and restore little angel, we earnestly seek that God will do it quickly and if it is God's desire to bring little angel back into His arms, He will do it quickly also. No one loves little angel as much as God does, we prayed for His heavenly will to be done on this little dear angel of ours.


*angel - name to be kept anonymous to respect the little boy and family members.









Monday, March 24, 2008

I'm flying


I'm flying today to the land of Philippines for 4 days, first trip of my 6 months project there. I'm not sure of the accessibility of the internet, so thought of dropping an entry before I took the plane. Everything is arranged, the hotel, pick-up, meeting appointments......... I brought 2 books with me entitled "A woman finding serenity" and "How to enjoy your life and job", will try to catch up with some reading as it's impossible to find time to read at home, the girls are glued to me. So this is a time to sort of "getaway" from hustle bustle of kid's business, home making and just a time to be on my own, catching up with personal activities. I'm going to miss the kids and of course not forgetting my dear hubby. I'm hoping to snap some interesting scenes of the Philippines, it's friendly people, its volcanos, local delicacy etc................ catch up with you guys later ya!









God is not dead, He is alive!

The girls' dance item - "God is not dead, He is alive!!" Very blur, I know, the girls are the third and fourth kiddo from the left (front row), you can see my small cutie got a little bit disoriented at the beginning and jeh jeh is next to her in the pink blouse and yellow skirt. Enjoy
video

Happy Easter


Easter had just passed, a recollection of what I did:

Sat morning, 6.50am, I woke up early because hubby and I supposed to spend an hour (7 - 8am) slot for our church prayer chain day. I washed up and then hubby took his turn. I made 2 glasses of warm honey drink and then off we went meditating on God's word, praising, meditating, giving thanks for Easter. I took below shot from our bedroom's window.


Around 7.25am, Emily woke up and came over to join us, we sang more songs and read the Bible

Next came Michelle, she too woke up and four of us on the bed, taking turns to pray for our church, ourself, our family, our country.....
I took this, the glorious sun is coming out.


We closed with a prayer, by now the sun is fully seen, like Easter a day to commemmorate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, God's promises is fulfilled by the triumphant raising of Jesus from death:


Sunday, 8.00am, we reached Vistana Hotel for Easter celebration, we dressed in our best, I sang in the choir, the girls performed a dance, I'll try to upload in Youtube (new to this), they were so cute, so innocent and pure praising God with their little body. Easter was simple, meaningful and joyous.

One good news! Emily reconciled with Irene (the girl she bullied last week):



Happy Belated Easter!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Steamboat again!

We went for all you can eat steamboat yesterday night, thanks to our host and hostess, Mr. & Mrs. Vincent who treated the whole family for a sumptuous and fulfilling dinner. So where did we go this time, it’s the same old place that we went for our previous two steamboats, our one and favorite Golden BBQ steamboat managed by Joseph and the gang at Nagore road. We still enjoyed every bit of it and the quality does not only maintained but improved by the variety of both readied food and yet to cook ingredients lavishly offered by Joseph. Thumbs up!

As usual, since we were all like hungry wolves, I took some fried bee hun, deep fried dumplings, meat balls and triangular sweeties. Next I tried the steam pork ribs (good) which was wonderfully steamed with the meat so tender and the taste just nice (Cantonese style, just the way I love it!), my friends took some chicken curry, hubby helped himself with some satays, just taking the ready cooked food makes one forget what’s your main objective for coming (steamboat & BBQ!), ke ke ke.

Next I helped myself with the many mushrooms, fish balls, prawns, clamps, vegetables while the other couple helped themselves with the many choices of marinated meats. How about the kids? Well they were enjoying the many sweeties offeredlah while the mummies and daddies walloped all they want. My mom in-law helped to take care of the kids while she has the whole table by herself (with the kidslah), he he he.

We are whole bunch of “glutters”, aren’t we? The dinner ended with ready made dessert and sweetened green tea. Hmm…. I’m truly satisfied, thank God for food…….. we really have so much.

This time I managed to take some photos……… enjoy and get ready some hankies to wipe your drooling saliva eh........ and once again thanks to our generous couple.

Kids enjoying ice-creams, poor Emily, she's down with cough but she's braving the temptations, good girl!


Some of the ready made food..... I know I know your saliva drooling already ya.




Next, the many choices of steamboat and BBQ ingredients to select from.. wah..




The wide range of dessert to choose also..





At last, our satisfied look....



Finally the bill....... as expected it was RM0.00 for our family and RM19.90 per pax for the adults, the 4 kids again get to eat for free... thanks Joseph!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Boss in the garden

Believe it or not, my boss is working in the garden right now and we are in the office and amazingly still I'm here blogging about her.

Can't believe it right? Well, that's my boss, she's unpredictable and so hands on until some of my colleagues really cannot take her character at times. I've worked more than 10 years with her, I know her style and she knows mine.

So this morning, when I wanted to look for her at the office, I saw her blouse hanging by her director's chair and began asking my colleague her whereabout, they said "boss working in the garden", I went out and searched for her, she was holding a big scissors trimming the branches, hmm... not a good time to approach her, I went back to the office.

She actually arranged with 2 other office colleagues to join her last evening, poor colleagues, she stopped by for an internal meeting at 11.00 am, (all smelly and sweating in her mickey mouse T-shirt), she washed up, changed back into her office attire, we went out for lunch and after lunch she changed back into her MM T-shirt and was out again.

Fyi, actually today is a public holiday but our company didn't recognize it, so we have to go back to the office to work, most customers are off today, so I guessed that's why she decided to work on our unkept, "junglish" garden.

Bravo to my boss eh, I don't think there is any boss like my boss.

Siblings rivalry

The kids were playing together quite well yesterday night, I'm happy they left me alone so that I can read the papers. Just about 10 minutes into the playing session, Michelle starting shouting to Emily and Emily shouted back, they argued, argued and argued....... till Michelle cried. Wanted to play deaf to the whole situation but guessed that I need to step into the show, so what I did was I separated both of them and put Emily into the room. I insisted that since both of them could not be good together, cannot love each other and detest each other so much, then no point of being together, so Michelle will stay at the living room and Emily in the second room. Both of them are not allowed to talk and see each other. I proposed that if they really hate each other so much, then they can't stay in the same house anymore, together with my neighbor (who happened to pass by), I asked if one of them could stay with him, he happily answered "Why, of course, then one of you could take care my baby", the girls in one voice objected to the idea.

So here they were, still being separated and stranded in their own place, just over 5 minutes, Emily could not stand it and started to slowly squeeze herself out from the room,started with her hands, I stared at her and she got back into the room. I started giving lectures to both of them, by then they were sorry of their behavior and slowly displayed their "innocent and want to get back together" face. I let Emily out of the room and within seconds they were holding hands, giggling and running together again.

I asked them to post for the camera, which they gladly obliged......


Hai, I think I've to witness many hundreds of such rivalry scenes before they actually learned to be good to each other in a more acceptable "adult" way. Two is really enough.....

Simple weekend

We went to New World Park again last Saturday but this time with the kids and mom in law as promised. We ordered Penang famous char koay teow and hokkien mee, the portion was quite big and the koay teow was served with 4 big prawns per plate, worth the money (RM3.50). The ladies street is still around, we brought the kids for a walk and let the kids did some coloring, for RM5 per person they got to choose from a wide range of pictures, the young chap working at the stall had the outline of the picture removed and placed them onto metal plate and baked them for a few minutes. The kids than began coloring by choosing their favourite colors (stored in plastic bottles, basically they just need to squeeze onto the pictures where the outline was already properly drawn, so quite easy). Michelle being more patient was slow and careful with her work, as for Emily, hmm... I've to assist and ensure she don't mess it up. Upon finished, the young chap need to bake it again, after cooling, the picture can be removed and turned out to be a piece of rubber-like material. The results..... ta da



Next, we dropped by to the stage area where a new group is performing, the singers this time were.......... well if compared with the previous group, they were far behind and no showmanship. I missed the other band, hope to bump into them again. Anyway we spotted an uncle dancing to the rhythm, I actually enjoyed the uncle's dancing moments more than the band.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Ouch! My heart is aching

Guessed what I did the moment I reached home yesterday? I caned Emily. Bad mummy hor? Does she do something very wrong? Yes. Does mummy feel bad after doing it? Yes, very bad. Is Michelle glad that mei mei got caned? No. Does Emily learn the lesson behind? I hope she did. Does the caning leave any scar on her buttocks? No, I checked and wanted to apply cream, can’t find any.

Some parents told me they never used the cane, some told me we can’t be not using the cane. Bible teaches us not to spare the rod, for hubby and I, when the children need the cane, we need to use the cane but in controlled situation. If you happen to see the cane's condition at my home, you'll be horrified by the appearance, but worry not, the cane was mostly used to create the "sound" rather than landed on my daugthers' buttocks.

So what does Emily do that she desired a spanking yesterday? Well, together with another class mate, she scratched another classmate’s face with a sharp coloring pencil while the other slapped the face. The scratch left some marks on the classmate’s face.

Oh my goodness, how can my girl be doing such an act? I questioned her intention, she sided that the girl pushed her while she was queuing in front of the toilet, not very convincing, I insisted that she tell me the truth, then she changed the story citing that the girl refused to let her sit beside another girl (the one who did the slapping), so I guessed both of them decided to take things into their own hands.

Emily has been quite aggressive lately, sometimes purposely hurting jeh jeh at home, there was one time she slapped my face too, beat daddy on the lap, when we questioned her, she could not give a reasonable answer for her action. The spanking yesterday was meant to teach her that when she hurt somebody physically, it’s the same feeling as I caned her. She cried, she confessed and acknowledge her wrong doings. I called the girl and Emily apologized over the phone, crying over it and pledged not to repeat her action. I apologized to the mother.

After the caning, crying, reassuring, we went for a walk, the jeh jeh commented “when mummy cane you, mummy’s heart very painful one meh”.

Today, she will need to face the principal and be disciplined. I told my mom in-law that I will give full authority to the principal to do what she deemed suitable for the situation and I do hope Emily really learnt the lesson behind.

XX Politics XX

Recently I’ve been venturing into the world of politics, I used to listen to comments that politic is a dirty world, dirty in a sense that decisions are made based on personal gain, the abuse of power by higher authority, corruptions, injustice, malice and immorality. Government = Politics, meaning we are electing a bunch of immoral people (if not all, majority) to lead our country and expect them to take care of our welfare. Why people is so power crazy? Why is it so nice to be on top of the world, where everyone listens to you, you have all the say and have the highest authority to oppress the poor, unfortunate, people whom you do not like? Which makes me wonder, what happen to humanity, why can’t we be human just like God created us to be?

I saw the video on our ex-PM making a confession that he did indeed put an innocent man (his deputy then) to jail, accused him of corruption and the worst act of sodomy, in the name of power. How disgusting, he is our PM then, now if a PM can do this, just imagine the guys in the cabinet whom he has selected, will there be any good in them? This, you have to determine yourself, as for me I’m so disgusted.

I believe each of us will be judge according to our action when we stand before our Creator, whatever injustice exercised shall be dealt with accordingly. In spite of all these, will there still be hope for Malaysia, for our next generation? What does it take to revive our leaders, it starts with a little step from its citizen to reject corruption in any kinds, say no to injustice and faith in our merciful Creator. God destroyed every living thing back in Noah’s days but God also promise not to ever do so in future….. so if God is not going to punish us by destroying us then He must be merciful enough to lead us back on the right track again, I prayed the recent election’s result is a small step to a revival.

I have been awaken, how about you?

Going away


Yesterday hubby and I made a RM5K plus decision. We are planning for a holiday in June, to Taiwan, just both of us (without MIL and the kids!, so bad of us). He called up the travel agent and booked for two, it has been 3 years since we last went overseas for holiday, so this is kind of getaway plan for both of us, thanks to MIL who willingly volunteer to take care of the kids (not that she has the choice, he he). We will reward them accordingly. Actually I'm planning to go to N.Zealand, light and easy, driving trip but the couple we are targetting decided to postpone it to next year, so we dropped the idea and plan for something nearer and less pricy instead.

Hmm... heard from friends that not much in Taiwan, anyway, let's see. So Taiwan here we come (provided my boss approved my leave ler). Below are some places we will be visiting,hope the real one is as closed as the pictures.....





Mamas rock (2)


Well, did mamas rock yesterday? Yes indeed, there were 7 of us and we rocked till about 10pm. As planned the kiddos (2+2+2+2+2+2+2=14) rocked with the papas, so yesterday there were altogether, 28 of us who rocked the whole house down. We had fun, the kids had fun, papas had fun and mamas had a great time sharing and be away from the kids at least for 2 hours, yay!

During the session, mamas shared it was a great plan to call papas to come, at the end of the session some papas were asking about our next meeting because some of them were thinking of making "escape" plan, so bad of them. Anyway I believe they were just kidding, one papa commented "Wow, need to cut, paste and at the same time take care of the kids, tough job", some jokingly said that the next session papas will bring tea set, the kids will play on their own and those with maids suppose to bring them along too, hmm..... that's how they showed support to the mamas eh?

Nevertheless, this does not stop mama from planning the next meeting, we were so excited and can't wait for the next one, so to the papas, it is just the beginning, so you all better learn and learn it fast. Ke ke ke

Friday, March 14, 2008

Mamas rock


I’m planning for “mama” cell group this coming Sunday night at my home. The previous meetings were held at church, every time only four of us attended, and the four is not always the same four, we joked that it was always enough to start a mahjung game, of course we did not start one.

Mama cell group was initiated especially for mothers in church who do not belong to any small group yet, often mama need to take care of their kids during our weekly service, thus do not get to listen to Pastor’s whole sermon, thus spiritual food intake is affected, so this group was formed with the objective that mamas get together firstly to feed on God’s word and secondly as a support group.

So we are gathering all mamas this Sunday, whether young mamas, old mamas and mamas to be. Not just that, we are also inviting papas and the kids along so that all concerned mamas who can’t leave their family behind will get to join too. Hmm… a daunting task indeed eh. Last year, we banned all papas and kids, this year; we try a new strategy and are more papas and kiddos friendly.

What is our plan?

7.30pm – 7.45pm – Arrival of all mamas, papas and kiddos
7.45pm – 8.00pm – Briefing for the gang
8.00pm – 9.00pm – Papas and kiddos activity at the living hall (they are going to do pop-up cards for mamas, if they finished earlier, back-up plan is cut and paste activity);
Mamas go into 2nd room and start our session (Bible reading cum re-alignment of 2008 objectives)
9.00 – 9.30pm – Supper, art work sharing session and fellowship time (maybe I’ll bake the carrot butter cake again, mom in-law make fresh soya bean milk and some jellies for the kiddos)
9.30pm – Dismissal, an early one because it’s a school day the next day

I’m hoping for a good and blessed night. Wait for the updates next week ya.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Habits in the family

1)Emily always sent mummy to the lift
2)Michelle likes to smell her smelly
3)Mummy always want things in its place
4)Daddy always forget to pick his hair
5)Ah Mah always left her mug besides the oven

Values

What are the values are we sowing and planting in the hearts of our children, our next generation? Below are values hold strong and true in our family:

1)There is one and only God, we called Him our Heavenly Father
2)“Thank you, sorry and I love you” – we use this very often
3)Honesty – always the best policy
4)Freedom of expression – free to laugh, cry, be angry, sad, scared, frustrated…..
5)Greet someone elder than you respectfully
6)Share – to show you care
7)If you don’t have something nice to say about others, don’t say it
8)“No means No” though we are having a hard time enforcing this…
9)Don’t waste
10)Cherish things you have – Emily is having a hard time complying to this

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Good night


Yesterday night, while I was accompanying my daughters to sleep, Michelle said "good night", I answered "good night, love you and sweet dreams", suddenly I recalled, how I used to wish mom good night back home, the thought of our last moment together came flashing on my mind. Michelle's whisper of good night sounds so familiar to mine back then. Oh the feeling of missing my mom was so great that I could not hold my tears, I still missed her terribly especially in quiet nights and being alone.

This morning while doing my quiet time, the words from Daily Bread comforted me, I abstracted some of them:

"After a tragic loss, we should look at the resources and relationships that remain and trust God to use them. This can inspire the hope of rebuilding a new life". — Dennis Fisher

Beyond the losses of this life
That cause us to despair
New hope is born within our heart
Because our God is there. —D. De Haan

No one is hopeless whose hope is in God.

The words came in timely, thank you Lord for your comfort. I took one of mom's best looking photo and framed it up, positioned it on top of our shoes cabinet and instead of greeting mom "good night", I greet her "good morning" before leaving for work, so far it has been therapeutic.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Mid life crisis

Hubby joined a book review session every Wednesday with some brothers from the church while I joined the choir every Wednesday night. The current book being reviewed entitled "Mid Life Crisis For Men", or something very close to that. I smile and little brain was jokingly saying to my mind "Well, well, well hubby in mid life already?" Hmm.... considering our age, both of us are certainly in our mid life, that is if we live till 70. OK I can accept that, so being curious I asked hubby what they were discussing on one or our trip back home on a Wed night, below is our conversation:

Hubby: Well, we were discussing the symtoms of mid life in men?
Me: So what are they?? Protruding bellies?
Hubby: Yeah, one of it
Hubby: Insecurity, stupidity and "back to teenage" time attitude..
Me: Like??
Hubby: Looking at other women and desire to start a new relationship..
Me: Hmm... plain men's excuses..
Hubby: But this time round, they hurt so many people in the process..
Me: Yeah....
Hubby: This will happen to women too, they too will start to look at younger men and desired to be with them..
Me: Yaks, not me..... (thinking in my mind, then it proves I'm not in mid life yet, he he he)

Can't really recall what we talked about next..... I will ask hubby when he finished the book and maybe then I'll write part 2 of this post. Wait ya....

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Wind of change


I’m not a political savvy person but something very strange happened, hubby and I were following the results of our 12th General Election until 2.00 am last Sunday morning. As much as I wanted to vote this time, due to some technical problems I did not carry out my citizenship responsibility, I know shame on me but the result is what I’ve been hoping for.

The whole nation is in daze just like any of us who followed closely the happenings prior to the election, the election itself and post election. History is created especially in Penang where the opposition teams are taking over for the first time in 40 years, but this time thank God everything is at peace. I went out shopping on Saturday night itself when the votes counting was in place, things were pretty quiet in the wee hours of Sunday and the whole day of yesterday was pretty normal, so there’s no hoo hoo ha ha over the political Tsunami results, not in Penang.

I’m glad Jeff and Tony (our brave bloggers) gained victory and also for those who really fight for a change this time round, the important thing now is to wake up from the daze, start planning for the road ahead. I’m sure voters vote against corruption and injustice, it’s my desire that the new ruling party really work delivering the commitments and changes vowed. I’ve also heard comments that maybe a lot of loosing candidates will join the new ruling force and probably we have to do another massive clean up 50 years down the road, I hope this will not happen.

We did not get a public holiday; I believe this showed how humble the winning parties were. Prayers are the party will work towards improving the citizen’s standard of living, eliminate poverty, fair allocation of wealth specifically for those who are in need, eliminate discrimination of all races, achieving a safe neighborhood, zero corruption, good will and peace on our land.

This time election has really opened my eyes and entering into the bloggers’ world gives me a whole new fresh perspective on Malaysia’s politics. Many say “Malaysia politics will not be the same again”, I totally agreed.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Thank you


I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to the following people during my most difficult moment for the past few weeks:

- My hubby, who supported and comforted me along the journey, I love you my dear
- My daughters, Michelle & Emily whose presence and words comforted me
- Pastor Earnest, who initiated prayers in the church, prayed for the family and brought my daughters and MIL to Kampar
- Sister Betty, who called and prayed with me over the phone, I'm truly touched
- Mrs. Chiam, my daughters' school principal, who helped me to explain, prepare and comfort the children when we were away
- Ms. Khoo, my superior and colleagues for their understanding and presence
- Brother Vincent, Yeap Soon, Sin Keong, Roland, Yeap & wife from the church who drove all the way down to show their support and concern
- Yin Keong who called a few times just to make sure I'm OK, thanks brother
- Close friends' sms which comforted me, thanks for your care and love
- Pooi Pooi's post in the blog, it's very comforting
- Gifts & flowers from friends near and far, thanks for your thoughts
- Dorene, it's OK to only know now, I know you care
- Brother Joshua and family who take the kids and MIL out when we need to be away at Kampar
- Pei Ning, Ah Ya for their expertise, helpfulness in pharmaceutical products
- Everyone whom I may miss, thank you for your genuine care and concern

Above all thanks to God who is my pillar of strength, His strength is made perfect in my weakness.

2 Corinthians 12:9
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.

LinkWithin

Blog Widget by LinkWithin