Friday, July 31, 2009

Our little "bride"

Emily was given the honor of becoming the flower girl in one of our church couple's wedding last Saturday and she accepted the role with excitement and joy. Compared to her younger sister, Michelle decided to chicken out one week being offered the role. She told us to give her a week to think about it and finally she declined the offer being the reason she's new to it and knowing her, she's scared of not being able to perform on the actual day, in short she's sort of "kiasi and kiasu".

Well seeing her sister in a beautiful dress (which actually belongs to her), with make-up, a beautiful hair band and a pair of "high" heels, I can see she felt a little regret not taking up the offer in the first place (both of them were given the offer), anyhow I'm glad she doesn't feel that bad after all.

And so, lil Emily did performed quite well and enjoyed herself very much, in fact while we were taking a peep at the wonderful bride, she was kind of jealous that the bride looks more beautiful than her.. LOL. She also asked if she could get married right away when she "grew" up, when I told her that she needs to wait for the appearance of a find young man to do so, she sounded impatience and asked me why she needed to wait. She thought that she could married alone, I think her main objective is to get to dress like Cinderella. Ha ha ha...

Our family with the lovely couple

The flower girls - Verlene and Emily

The girls with the bridesmaid and best man

Emily and Verlene

The beautiful bride and the little "bride"

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Lessons of life

I received below story from a friend and I have forwarded them to many of my friends, I think my blogger friends should read this piece of beautiful story, a sad one but worth reading it over and over again so that the story speaks deeply in us lest we take our loved ones for granted.

Just two years after our marriage, hubby brought up the idea of asking Mother to move from the rural hometown and spend her remaining years with us. Hubby's father passed away while he was still very young. Mother endured much hardship and struggled all on her own to provide for him, see him through to a university degree. You could say that she suffered a great deal and did everything you could expect of a woman to bring hubby to where he is today. I immediately agreed and started packing
the spare room, which has a balcony facing the South to let her enjoy the sunshine and plant greenery. Hubby stood in the bright room, and suddenly just picked me up and started spinning round and round. As I begged him to put me down, he said: "Lets go fetch mother." Hubby is tall and big sized and I love to test on his chest and enjoy the feeling that he could pick me up at any moment put the tiny me into his
pockets. Whenever we have an argument and both refuses to back down, he would pick me up and spin me over his head continuously until I surrender and beg for mercy. I became addicted to this kind of panic-joy feeling.
Mother brought along her countryside habits and lifestyle with her. For example; I am so used to buying flowers to decorate the living room, she could not stand it and would comment: "I do not know how you young people spend your money, why do you buy flowers for? You also can't eat flowers!" I smiled and said: "Mum, with flowers in the house, our mood will also become better." Mother continues to grumble away, and hubby smiled: "Mum, this is a city-people's habit; slowly you will get use to it."
Mother stopped saying anything. But every time thereafter, whenever came home with flowers, she would ask me how much it costs. I told her and she would shake her head and express displeasure. Sometimes, when I come home with lots of shopping bags, she would ask each and every item how much they cost, I would tell her honestly and she would get even more upset about it. Hubby playfully pinched my nose and said: "You little fool, just don't tell her the full price of everything would solve it."

There begins the friction to our otherwise happy lifestyle. Mother hates it most when hubby wakes up early to prepare the breakfast. In your view, how could the man of the house cook for the wife? At the breakfast table, mother facial expression is always like the dark clouds before a thunderstorm and I would pretend not to notice. She would use her chopsticks and make a lot of noise with it as her silent protest.
As I am a dance teacher in the Children's Palace and am exhausted from a long day of dancing around, I do not wish to give up the luxury of that additional few minutes in the comfort of my bed and hence I turned a deaf ear to all the protest mother makes. From time to time, mother would help out with some housework, but soon her help created additional work for me. For example: she would keep all kinds of plastic bags accumulating them so that she sell them later on, and resulted in our
house being filled with all the trash bags; she would scrimp on dish washing detergent when helping to wash the dishes and so as not to hurt her feelings, I would quietly wash them again.
One day, late at night, mother saw me quietly washing the dishes, and "Bam" she slams her bedroom door and cried very loudly in her room. Hubby was placed in a difficult position, and after that, he did not speak to me for that entire night. I pretended to be a spoilt child, tried acting cute, but he totally ignored me.... I got mad and asked him: "What did I do wrong?" Hubby stared at me and said: "Can't you just give in to her once? We couldn't possibly die eating from a bowl
unclean it is, right?" After that incident, for a long period of time, mother did not speak to me and you can feel that there is a very awkward feeling hanging in the house. During that period of cold war, hubby was caught in dilemma as to who to please.

In order to stop her son from having to prepare breakfast, mother took on the "all important" task of preparing breakfast without any prompting. At the breakfast table, mother would look at hubby happily eating his breakfast and cast that reprimanding stare at me for having failed to perform my duty as a wife. To avoid the embarrassing breakfast situation, I resorted to buying my own breakfast on my way to work. That night, while in bed, hubby was a little upset and asked me: "LD, is it because you think that mum's cooking is not clean that's why you chose not
to eat at home?" He then turned his back on me and left me alone in tears as feeling of unfairness overwhelmed me. After some time, hubby sighed:
"LD, just for me, can you have breakfast at home?" I am left with no choice but to return to the breakfast table. The next morning, I was having porridge prepared by mother and I felt a sudden churn in my stomach and everything inside seem to be rushing up my throat. I tried to suppress the urge to throw up but I could not. I threw down the bowl, rushed into the washroom, and vomited everything out. Just
as I was catching my breath, I saw mother crying and grumbling very loudly in her dialect, hubby was standing at the washroom doorway staring at me with fire burning in his eyes.. I opened my mouth but no words came out of it, I really did not mean it.
We had our very first big fight that day; mother took a look at us, then stood up and slowly made her way out of the house. Hubby gave me a final stare in the eye and followed mother down the stairs. For three days, hubby did not return home, not even a phone call. I was so furious, since mother arrived; I had been trying my best and putting up with her, what else do you want me to do? For no reason, I keep having the feeling to throw up and I simply have not appetite for food, coupled with all the events happening at home, I was at then low point in my life. Finally, a colleague said: "LD, you look terrible; you should go and see a doctor." The doctor confirmed that I am pregnant.
Now it became clear to me why I threw up that fateful morning, a sense of sadness floated through that otherwise happy news. Why didn't hubby, and mother who had been through this before, thought of the possibility of this being the reason that day? At the hospital entrance, I saw my hubby standing there. It had only been three days, but he looked haggard. I had wanted to turn and leave, but one look at him and my heart soften, I couldn't resist and called out to him. He followed my voice and finally found me but he pretended that he doesn't know me; he has that disgusted look in his eyes that cut right through my heart. I told myself not to look at him anymore, and hail a cab. At that moment, I have such a strong urge inside me to shout to my hubby: "Darling, I am having your baby!" and have him lift me up and spin me around in circles of joy. What I wanted didn't happen and as I sat in the cab, my tears started rolling down. Why? Why our love couldn't even withstand the test of one fight?
Back home, I lay on the bed thinking about my hubby, and the disgusted look in his eyes. I cried and wet the corner of the blanket. That night,sound of the drawers opening woke me up. I switched on the lights and I saw hubby with tears rolling down his face. He was removing the money. I stared at him in silence; he ignored me, took the bank deposit book and some money and left the house. Maybe he really intends to leave me for good. What a rational man, so clear-cut in love and money matters. I gave a few dried laugh and tears starting streaming down again. The next day, I
did not go to work. I wanted to clear this out and have a good talk with hubby. I reached his office and his secretary gave me a weird look and said: "Mr. Tan's mother had a traffic accident and is now in the hospital".
I stood there in shock. I rushed to the hospital and by the time I found hubby, mother had already passed away. Hubby did not look at me, his face was expressionless. I looked at mother's pale white and thin face and I couldn't control the tears in my eyes. My god, how could this happen? Throughout the funeral, hubby did not say a single word to me, with only the occasional disgusted stare at me. I only managed to find out brief facts about the accident from other people. That day, after mother left the house, she walked in dazed toward the bus stop ,
apparently intending to go back to her old house back in the countryside. As hubby ran after her, she tried to walk faster and as she tried to cross the street, a public bus came and hit her...I finally understood how much hubby must hate me, if I had not thrown up that morning, if we had not quarreled, if....In his heart, I am indirectly the killer of his mother.
Hubby moved into mother's room and came home every night with a strong liquor smell on him. And me, I am buried under the guilt and self-pity and could hardly breathe. I wanted to explain to him, tell him that we are going to have our baby soon, but each time, I saw the dead look in his eyes, all the words I have at the brink of my mouth just fell back in. I had rather he hit me real hard or give me a big and thorough scolding though none of these events happening had been my fault at all.
Many days of suffocating silence went by and as the days went by, hubby came home later and later. The deadlock between us continues, we were living together like strangers who don't know each other. I am like the dead knot in his heart.
One day, I passed by a western restaurant, looking into the glass window,
I saw hubby and a girl sitting facing each other and he very lightly brushed her hair for her, I understood what it meant. After recovering from that moment of shock, I entered the restaurant, stood in front of my hubby and stared hard at him, not a tear in my eyes. I have nothing to say to him, and there is no need to say anything. The girl looked at me, looks at hubby, stands up and wanted to go, hubby stretched out his hand and stopped her. He stared back at me,challenging me. I can only hear my slow heart beat, beating, one by one as if at the brink of death. I eventually backed down, if I had stood that any longer, I will collapse together with the baby inside me. That night, he did not come home; he had chosen to use that as a way to indicate to me: Following mother's death so did our love for each other.
He did not come home anymore after that. Sometimes, when I returned home from work, I can tell that the cupboard had been touched - he had returned to take some of his stuff. I no longer wish to call him; the initial desire to explain everything to him vanished. I lived alone; I go for my medical checkups alone, my heart breaks again and again every time I see a guy carefully helping his wife through the physical examination. My office colleagues hinted to me to consider aborting the baby, I told them No, I will not.. I insisted on having to this baby, perhaps it is my way of
repaying mother for causing her death. One day, I came home and I saw hubby sitting in the living room. The whole house was filled with cigarette smoke. On the coffee table, there was this piece of paper. I know what it is all about without even looking at it. In the two months plus of living alone, I have gradually learned to find peace within myself. I looked at him, removed my hat and said: "You wait a while, I will sign." He looked at me, mixed feelings in his eyes, just like mine.
As I hang up my coat, I keep repeating to myself "You cannot cry, you cannot cry..." my eyes hurt terribly, but I refused to let tears come out from there. After I hung up my coat, hubby's eyes stared fixed at my bulging tummy. I smiled, walked over to the coffee table and pulled the paper towards me. Without even looking at what it says, I signed my name on it and pushed the paper to him. "LD, are you pregnant?" Since mother's accident, this is the first time he spoke to me. I could not
control my tears any further and they fell like raindrops. I said: "Yes, but its ok, you can leave now." He did not go, in the dark, we sat, facing each other. Hubby slowly moved over me, his tears wet the blanket. In my heart, everything seems so far away, so far that even if I sprint, I could never reach them. I cannot remember how many times he repeated "sorry" to me. I had originally thought that I would forgive him, but now I can't. In the western restaurant, in front of that girl, that cold look in his eyes, I will never forget, ever. We have drawn such deep scars in each other's heart. For me, it's unintentional; for
him, totally intentional. I had been waiting for this moment of reconciliation, but I realized now, what had gone past is gone forever and could not repeated.
Other than the thought of the baby inside me that would bring some warmth to my heart, I am totally cold towards him, I no longer eat anything he buys for me, I don't take any presents from him and I stopped talking to him. From the moment I signed on that piece of paper, marriage and love had vanished from my heart. Sometimes, hubby will try to come into the bedroom, but when he walks in, I will walk out to the living room. He had no choice but to sleep in mother's room. At night, from his room, I can hear light sounds of groaning, I kept quiet. This used to be his trick; last time, whenever I ignore him, he would fake illness and I will
surrender and find out what is wrong with him, he would then grab me and laugh. He has forgotten that last time I cared for him and am concerned because there was love, but now, what is there between us? Hubby's groaning came on and off continuing but I continuously ignored him.
Almost everyday, he would buy something for the baby, infant products, children products and books that kids like to read. Bags and bags of it stacked inside his room till it is full. I know he is trying to use this to reach out to me, but I am no longer moved by his actions. He has no choice but to lock himself in his room and I can hear his typing away on his computer keyboard, maybe he is now addicted to web surfing but none of that matters to me anymore. It was sometime towards the end of spring in the following year, one late night, I screamed because of a sudden stomach pain, hubby came rushing into the room, its like he did not change and sleep, and had been waiting for this moment. He carried me and ran down the stairs, stopped a car, holding my hand very tightly and kept wiping the sweat off my brow, throughout the journey to the hospital. Once we reached the hospital, he carried me and hurried into the delivery suite. Lying on the back of his skinny but warmth body, a thought crossed my mind: In my lifetime, who else would love me as much as he did?
He held the delivery suite door opened and watch me go in; his warm eyes caused me to manage a smile at him despite my contraction pain. Coming out of the delivery room, hubby looked at our son and me, eyes tear with joy and he kept smiling. I reached out and touched his hand. Hubby looked at me, smiling and then he slowly collapsed onto the floor. I cried out for him in pain... He smiled, but without opening that tired eyes of his... I had thought that I would never shed any tear for him, but the truth is, I have never felt a deeper pain cutting through my body at
that moment. Doctor said that by the time hubby discovered he had liver cancer, it was already in terminal stage and it was a miracle that he managed to last this long. I asked the doctor when he first discovered he had cancer. Doctor said about 5 months ago and consoled me and saying: "Prepare for his funeral."
I disregarded the nurse's objection and rushed home, I went into his room and checked his computer, and a suffocating pain hitsme. Hubby's cancer was discovered 5 months ago, his groaning was real, and I had thought that... the computer showed over 200 thousand words he wrote for our son:
"Son, just for you, I have persisted, to be able to take a look at you before I fall, is my biggest wish now... I know that in your life, you will have many happiness and maybe some setbacks, if only I can accompany you throughout that journey, how nice would it be. But daddy now no longer has that chance. Daddy has written inside here all the possible difficulties and problems you may encounter during your lifetime, when you meet with these problems, you can refer to daddy's suggestion....
Son, after writing these 200 thousand words, I feel as if I have accompanied you through life journey. To be honest, daddy is very happy. Do love your mother, she has suffered, she is the one who loves you most and also the one who loves me most..." From play school to primary school,to secondary, university, to work and even in dealing with questions of love, everything big and small was written there.
Hubby has also written a letter for me:
"My dear, to marry you is my biggest happiness, forgive me for the pain I have caused you, forgive me for not telling you my illness, because I want to see you be in a joyful mood waiting for the arrival of our baby...My dear, if you cried, it means that you have forgiven me and I would smile, thank you for loving me...These presents, I'm afraid I cannot give them to our son personally, could you help me to give some of them to him every year, the dates on what to give when are all written on the packaging... "

Going back to the hospital, hubby is still in coma. I brought our son over and place him beside him. I said: "Open your eyes and smile, I want our son to remember being in the warmth of your arms..." He struggled to open his eyes and managed a weak smile. Our son still in his arms was happily waving his tiny hands in the air. I press the button on the camera and the sound of the shutter rang through the air as tears slowly rolled down my face.... A fatal misunderstanding and the person who loves me the most in this world is gone forever..."Cruel misunderstandings one after another disrupted the blissful footsteps to our family. Our originals intend of
having Mother enjoy some quiet and peaceful moments in her remaining years with us went terribly wrong as destiny's secret is finally revealed at a price, every thing became too late."........
This is a true story.
I am totally speechless, this story brought tears to my eyes as I read through each line eager to know what would happen next. It truly showed the devastating power of grudges and anger! Simple humility and communication would have resolved most of the problems in that story, as well as patience.... This story has really touched my heart and life as a whole and it has stimulated a paradigm shift. Though it is very sad, it is also very refreshing to know that from today, I can consciously start to
live a life free of grudge. People please let's live a life devoid of grudge. Communication is key.

Take greatest care and live on.

Now, sorry to make you all cry, who would not cry reading above story... so do take care and remember do not hold grudges, settle them immediately and directly and of course with tons of patience and love ya!

Occasionally Enterprising...

One of the subject I’ll be teaching this semester is Enterprising Management and one of the exercise that I plan to do with my students is the GET test (General Enterprise Tendency test). The test was initially developed by staff at Durham University Business School and over the years has been revised. The tool was meant to test if one has the entrepreneurial personality, in other words to see if you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur (one who has an innovative idea and able to commercialize it to create wealth). It’s an objective based questionnaire, 54 questions in all, quite simple and you just got to tick your stand on the statements whether you tend to agree or disagree…
Well, this is what I score and the interpretation of the “entrepreneur likelihood” in me. :)

“Occasionally enterprising”
You are likely to have strengths in some of the enterprising characteristics and may be enterprising in some contexts. At this time you probably are unlikely to set up an innovative growth-oriented global business, and may be able to express your enterprise either within employment as an intrapreneur, or in your leisure time through voluntary community projects.

You probably wish to consider tried and tested enterprising ideas that fit in with your lifestyle.

You may be happy to work as an intrapraneur as a valuable member of an organisational team. If you start your own enterprise, you may need to cultivate stronger independent leadership qualities. Starting a business is not the only option for you. You would be probably equally happy to work as an employee as part of an organisational team or on your own projects.

You would probably look to others for entrepreneurial ideas but are probably content with proven, traditional approaches to business or enterprise.

You are not happy about taking on any risk and perhaps you have too many responsibilities or too few personal resources to allow you to feel comfortable about taking financial or business risks.

You scored highly in having an internal locus of control. This means that you may have the following qualities:
• Opportunistic, seeking and taking advantage of opportunities;
• Self-confidence with the belief that you have control over your destiny and you make your own luck (I trust in God’s plan for me), rather than being controlled by fate;
• Proactive, taking personal responsibility to navigate problems that arise to achieve success on your terms;
• Determination and express a strong willed control over life;
• Self belief, equating the results achieved with the effort you make.
Having an internal locus of control means that you confidently seek to exert control over your life, drawing on your inner resources rather than depending on others. You strongly believe that your personal qualities and efforts will determine your success in life. (I’m just a simple woman delighted by the simple things around me!!)

Thinking of running your own business, you may want to try this test out at before deciding on your next move...anyway it's just a test, should not be an ultimate tool to influence your decision.

Monday, July 20, 2009

A little discovery

I discovered something this morning.................... and that is I've turned into a long winded, naggy mommy. This is what triggered me.. Michelle recently has this habit of "forgetting", when asked about her homework, she'll said, today got how many homework only, she's done with it and start occupying herself with her own activities. Last Saturday when we were preparing to go out, suddenly she remembered that she has this "Jau Chue - making sentences in Chinese language" yet to be completed. I was like... ha... "I asked you already and now that we are going out for fun and you tell me that you still have unfinished homework, arrgh...". This morning while on my way to work, suddenly she claimed that she forgot to practice her Bahasa synonim and antonim.... ha... I was like "arg....this girl, keep on giving lame excuses ha, I nagged, nagged and nagged...."

To top it up (by now she has left the house with MIL to send Emily to school), I drafted a new time table for her (the one that we currently have seems not so practical), it looked something like this:
9.00 - 9.30 am - Revise antonim, synonim and ejaan (spelling in Bahasa)
9.30 - 10.00 am - Do activity books (English, Bahasa & Mathematics, 2 pages each)
10.00 - 10.30 am - Watch High-Five (TV program)
10.30 - 11.00 am - Pack her school bag, bathe
11.00 - 11.30 am - Revise antonim and synonim again
11.30 - 12.30 pm - Lunch and prepare for school

While on the road this morning, suddenly I felt so guilty. I prayed on the spot that God will grant me wisdom to teach my girl how to be a responsible person, use constructive and positive words to motivate and inspire her to self-learn rather than nag, nag and nag. Haiz....

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Today is my 4th day at the college, classes have not commence, so kind of light and easy mode here, furthermore it's exam week over here and most lecturers have taken the opportunity to clear their leaves, put their hair down and leisurely preparing for next semester's lectures, assignments as well as exam questions.

Joining the college at this point of time is one of the best arrangement, it allows me to fit in the environment, get to know other colleagues as well, wander within the perimeter of the college, get a glimpse of the college working culture and also foretaste the life of a full time lecturer.

Yesterday while having lunch with my colleagues, she pre-warned us of some practical jokes played by the students on her and possibly on my other colleague and I (since we are the 2 new ones) when the semester reopens. What she encountered so far was a fake arm on the chair in one of the lecture hall, a fake cockcroach (gee.. I hate it) and student bringing their "pets" to registration day.....

Okay... with this realistic preview of some of the students' tactics here, I shall prepare myself to face them i.e. do not shout and jump over the sight of any cockcroaches in the class, do not be overly concerned on an extra "helping hand" that may appeared before me, learn to associate with whatever "pets" they wanted to introduce me to, do not overact over the sight of blood stains, skeletons, "dead objects", foul smell etc (God knows what are they up to...)

All the best to me ya! God gave me wisdom to deal with whoever that He wants me to deal with starting from this 10th Aug!!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Your Legacy

I watched MJ memorial service last night and woke up with swollen eyes this morning. Yeah you guessed it right, I shed tears during the entire broadcast of the service. I certainly agreed that when a person's time on earth has passed, we ought to celebrate that person's life besides mourning for the loss. I told my husband that I wanted a few close friends to speak something about me during my funeral service, I wanted to be remembered and I'm not sure how my close friends will remember me, have you ever thought of that?? Hubby answered that he did not want to organize the service for me but asked me to organize his instead... ah...whoever need to go first, let's celebrate that person's life and remember that person as genuine as you can. I personally like Brooke Shield's testimony on MJ. MJ,may you rest in peace.

Bali (2)

Random shots of Bali...... enjoy

Stir-fried Kangkung..., fresh and crunchy

Sweet-sour crab... hmm not fresh... I vomitted this

Wow.. nice sunset at Uluwatu

A shot at Semara Spa... Balinese massage is different from Thai massage according to hubby, I went for the "French" style massage with slimming effect, they massage both back and front portion hor.... aiyoh "paiseh"..

A must go shopping place.... cheap cheap price especially in the morning, the place to try out your bargaining skill...

A temple built on the rock overseeing the Indian Ocean... spectacular view

The labour of "hard bargaining" (1)

The labour of "hard bargaining" (2)

Sunset at Tanah Lot

Tanah Lot, strong wave splashed against the rocks

Rows of rows of shops to test your bargaining skill again

Balinese art... nice we bought plenty of them

Babi Guling, roasted pork rice with pickles and sambal

Temple at Bratan Lake, a cooling place
Taman Ajam, a former King's residence

Harris Resort, Kuta, the place where we stayed
Prevention at the airport, we can see a big fuss over at KLIA but not in Bali, look like "Transformers"?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Bali Vs Reality

Yeap, we're back from our 2nd honeymoon and back to "reality", no more late nights, lazy mornings, long buffet breakfast, wonderful relaxing spa session, crazy shopping days, sun breeze, fantastic sunsets, macho surfers, good food, back to nature, quiet couple time............ One thing is sure, we were glad that we made this trip and I've the best time in my life shopping... bargaining like never before. that we are back home.....the only reward is we get to see our princesses again after 4 long days of separation. Emily and MIL came to fetch us in the airport last Monday and Emily was like jumping hysterically and once settled down, immediately demanded for her gifts (don't know missing us or the gifts more). Michelle is equally excited and was calling for me before even reaching the front door when she came back from school.

I've uploaded the photos in my facebook and will upload some here later. At the mean time I've got to adjust going back to work especially that I'll be lecturing on a full time basis starting from next week. No more hazy lazy days ahead but then at the mean time I still have 5 days enjoying my resort life at home..... Stay tune for more Bali posting ya!


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