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Encouraging Children in Sports (and Vai’s Tennis Competition)

14 April 2015 – 3:02 pm | 3 Comments

 
Last weekend, our 8yo Vai had the chance to compete in a tennis competition, joining the category of ‘Under 10′.
Something that we’re all excited about.
It was all held outdoors.
And the weather was very, VERY warm.
 

 
At …

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Making : Crayon Batik!

8 February 2011 | Posted in: Crafts & Activity Ideas for Kids | 5 Comments


[Kids in their Batik clothes. Photo was taken and posted in July 2010]

Today Vai and I made Crayon Batik together before he left for school!

[My kids know what 'Batik' is. Well, perhaps not THAT well, but at least they know what they generally look like and that Indonesians make Batik clothes. Anya and Vai wear them too once in a while]

Anyway, this is a simple and fun activity!

Here’s how you can make one with your little one too!

What we used:

- Paper

- Crayons (ones that give THICK colours)

- Water and Container (to soak the paper later)

- Newspaper (for you to place your wet paper)

-  Brush and Watercolour

- Paper Towels (to blot off excess water)

What we did:

- With crayons, Vai FULLY coloured the drawing

(He recently got this Iron Man toy from McDonald’s and asked us for an Iron Man black&white printout for him to colour. And so, since he already had this drawing, he simply made the whole page more vibrant with thicker crayons. And btw, just in case you’re wondering, no, my kids don’t watch Iron Man the movie =)

Note: Going for white-coloured paper will make the colours stand out better

- We soaked the drawing in water, for about 2 mins

Note: Make sure the surface is all fully soaked

- Crumple the wet paper into a ball, and carefully uncrumple the paper

- Flatten and place the paper on a piece of newspaper

- Using a brush, Vai painted the whole surface with green watercolour (choose darker colour)

- Blot off excess watercolour / water with paper towels

- Put aside and let it dry completely

That’s it!! =)


[All dried up]


By the time Vai was done with his watercolour, it was time for school. So he placed the still-wet paper on the table to dry.

As soon as he’s back home, he immediately went to check his ‘Batik Iron Man’!

He liked.

Looks like we’ll be doing this activity again =)

And we’ll experiment and use a different kind of paper, drawing, colour and size next time!

Have fun giving Crayon Batik a go with your little ones!

Thoughts : Do Rules RULE Our Lives?

7 February 2011 | Posted in: Inspirational, Parenting | 12 Comments

I’ve lived in Singapore for more than a decade, and I can totally see how this country is very good at making sure everything is in order and its many rules are followed.

No littering. No smoking. No durians on the bus. No eating / drinking on the train.

There are ‘instructions’ nearly ‘everywhere’ you look too.

Queue Up. Give up your seat to those who need it more. Give Way. Only three taxis are allowed. Prams must be folded. Flush after use. Keep door closed at all times.

There’re even national campaigns to remind people to SMILE and BE COURTEOUS as well!

The thing is, I never quite realise how rules and regulations are introduced to the young generation at a very early stage until Anya started Primary One.

When I pick her up from school, we’d usually chat, and she’d share with me things like, how things go at school that day, how her friends are, and what her teachers did or said (if something in particular happened).

And from what she’s shared, I notice something.

There are apparently ‘school rules’ pasted on her classroom wall too.

Rules like,

Listen.

Sit properly.

Work quietly. Walk quietly.

Ask permission to leave your seat.

Think before you act.

Do not touch others during lesson.

If someone happens to NOT ‘follow the rule’, the kids (Anya included) would rebuke and point to the written rule on the wall and say, ‘Hey! You broke THE RULE!’ Or something like that.

Hmm. Interesting, I thought.

Anya shared with me how a particular friend ‘broke the rule’ when he shouted at his friends, and how another friend ‘broke the rule’ because he left class without asking for permission, etc.

There’s this one time when we’re about to get off a bus, two students happened to block the exit door. And as we (finally) managed to get off, Anya whispered to me how they were ‘supposed’ to give way and how they didn’t follow the rule.

Hmm. I can see how she’s really picked up this concept of obeying and following THE rules and regulations more strongly ever since she’s started Primary One.

[No wonder there's a local movie made on this called 'Just Follow Law'!]

And so I had a casual chat with her (as soon as we got off that bus). And these are some of the points I brought up and highlighted during our conversation:

- Rules and regulations are necessary to keep things in order. To remind people of what they need to do (or NOT do).

- Singapore especially displays and enforces its rules ‘everywhere’. On buses, trains, in taxis, at coffee shops, in shopping malls, at schools, etc.

- As a result, people have a natural tendency to follow the rules. The question is, how about those UNWRITTEN things that we should and should NOT do? Does our mind become so ‘boxed-up’ in rules that we don’t bother to look beyond and do what’s needed – though there are NO rules on them?

Personally, I feel the downside of this situation is, people are somewhat ‘trained’ to follow the rules, so much so that when there’re NO written rules on some things, many choose to NOT care nor act on them too.

eg. ‘I don’t need to give up MY seat since it’s not the allocated / marked one for the elderly’.

[I'm concerned that as a result of living in a society where 'rules' govern our day to day lives, we obey the rules, but we're losing our 'heart' and spontaneity to think of others]

I shared with Anya how while it’s good to observe the rules and regulations, we should also remember that we MUST act on what’s right, even when it’s NOT written anywhere that we should do it.

And, we should NOT do something that we know as wrong, even if there’s NO written rule against it.

I shared with her the values and importance of doing what’s right and necessary, and NOT doing things that we know as wrong, regardless of whether there are rules on them or not.

For example,

If someone needs our help, we should immediately offer or GET others to help too (instead of just ignoring the situation and waiting for SOMEONE ELSE to help that person)

If we see someone who needs our seat more, we should immediately get up and offer our seat.

We respect and greet others, because we need to, not because the rules tell us to do so.

Throughout my years of living in Singapore, unfortunately I’ve come across many, MANY people who simply don’t care about others (because there are no rules that tell them to, perhaps?)

Someone could be on the floor, in pain, and everyone just walked pass. A frail old lady might be staggering and slowly getting off the bus, and no one offered a hand to help her get down safely. A young mother could be carrying a little baby, a big baby bag and a heavy-looking pram, and the taxi driver could sit still in his car and not offer help to lift the pram into the trunk.

[And I wonder if this is the kind of society that metropolitan cities tend to 'produce' in general]

But.

Thank goodness, through the years, I’ve also seen some who DO show their care for others. Who think about others more than the convenience of oneself. Who offer help though it doesn’t ‘benefit’ the person who helps.

And I sincerely hope my family, including our little ones, can be amongst those people who DO care about other people.

Yes, although there are NO written rules to tell us to do so.

Btw, I’d love to hear your views and thoughts on this.

Checking Out : Sentosa Flowers on Chinese New Year!

5 February 2011 | Posted in: Daily, Places to Visit | 2 Comments


[Cute round benches just outside Vivo City where we had our family shot taken]

So what did you do on Chinese New Year?

Well, we thought since shops will mostly be closed on the very first day of CNY, we should just check out Vivo City. It’s probably be ‘rather quiet’, yes?

Hmm. Wrong.

To our surprise, we saw crowds boarding the Sentosa bus (oranged-coloured ones) at HarbourFront Bus Terminal. And upon reaching Vivo City, we saw MORE crowd. I mean, people by the HUNDREDS queuing to go up the escalators from level 2 to level 3. And when we were on level 3, there’s this HUGE crowd queuing up to board Sentosa’s monorail (on level 3).

Soon enough we found out that they all were going to Sentosa to check out this year’s Sentosa Flowers 2011!

It’s the very FIRST day the festival.

And so, since we’re already there, we thought, let’s go and check out Sentosa Flowers!

We’re definitely NOT going by bus nor the monorail though (way too crowded!).

We chose to go by Sentosa Boardwalk!

And it was a GOOD decision because the weather was nice, and you’d actually start seeing lots and LOTS of flowers from the boardwalk onwards!

(The venues for Sentosa Flowers are: Sentosa Boardwalk, Resorts World Sentosa, Merlion Plaza, Imbiah Lookout)

Anyway.

We spent at least five good hours altogether there.

The crowd was too huge for us to go all the way to Merlion Plaza and Imbiah Lookout though. So we spent most of our time at the Resort World Sentosa area before heading home (My feet needed a good rub after those few hours of walking!)

Here are a few more photos of our visit that day!


[Running across the water fountain to see if he could stay DRY]

Oh btw, we really wanted to check out the free Crane Dance show. It’s supposed to be really good. BUT the nightly show starts at 9pm. We’ve spent our entire afternoon at Sentosa, so definitely we’re not going to stay there till 9pm. Will return to check it out some other time for sure.

Anyway.

If you’re thinking of going over to check out Sentosa Flowers, here’s more info and tips:

- If the weather is good, I’d suggest going to Sentosa by the boardwalk. The view is nice, and it’s accessible by wheelchairs and prams.

- Entrance to Sentosa via the boardwalk is $1 per person. You need to buy a ticket at the booth or use your EZ-Link.

- You can only use one EZ-Link for one person, and you CANNOT use your flashcard / cashcard.

- Sentosa Flowers is open from 3 – 13 February 2011, 10am – 10pm.

- Click HERE to see a list of HOW you can get there!

Enjoy!

One of My Favourite Family Photos So Far!

4 February 2011 | Posted in: Photography | 6 Comments

This shot was taken just yesterday. By my brother in law.

On one of the round benches.

Just outside of Vivo City.

We hardly have such shots of four of us. Ever.

And I just LOVE this one.

Especially the boys’ expressions!

The afternoon sun was obviously too glary for them to handle! Heh.

Ah. I’m thankful to God for my family.

If photos with your loved ones have always been … ‘normal’, go and have a fun and unusual one sometime soon yeah! =) It’ll be such a treasure, I’m sure! Enjoy your weekend, everyone!

Video : Prayer for Mothers (and Anya and Vai’s 1st Choir Performance in Jakarta)

12 May 2013 | Posted in: Inspirational, Parenting, Video | 4 Comments
anya growing up collage

 
Today is my very first time watching both my kids – 9yo Anya and 6.5yo Vai – perform in our church choir, singing ‘Prayer for Mothers’ as part of our church’s Mother’s Day celebration.
As I …

Exercising Care Between Siblings

19 June 2012 | Posted in: Parenting | 8 Comments
anya vai sponging fever1

Vai was feverish the other day.
For one whole day he was totally unlike himself.
He said his head felt ‘heavy’.
He was totally quiet and stayed in bed.
I was about to give him some cool wipes across …

Urgh. Not getting what I want is … HARD!

17 July 2009 | Posted in: Inspirational, Parenting | 12 Comments
vai_cry

Kids have wants. And the reality is, they don’t always get them, because perhaps what they ask for and want is harmful, unnecessary, or is simply not good for them. There could be plenty more …

A little ‘Me-Time’ for Mom

31 May 2008 | Posted in: Marriage & Relationships | 9 Comments
leo_wil_wedding

I was reading some articles the other day on today’s busy Moms and how everyone needs some ‘Me-time’ to recharge.
One article says:
“When we are stressed, overwhelmed and tired, we have a shorter fuse. We …

Book : First-time Mom

2 May 2008 | Posted in: Marriage & Relationships, Parenting, Video | One Comment
first-time-mom-book

Here’s one parenting book I’d like to recommend today.
First-time Mom, by Dr. Kevin Leman.
Getting off on the right foot – from birth to first grade
After a friend of mine shared how insightful the book …

Marriage : Reasons Why Couples Connect Less With Each Other

14 February 2013 | Posted in: Inspirational, Marriage & Relationships | 2 Comments
Marriage : Reasons Why Couples Connect Less With Each Other

This year, my hubby and I would mark our 12th wedding anniversary.
And you know what they say, … the longer you’re married, the less ‘connected’ you both most likely are?
You think?
Well, these are the few …