Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Adventures of 2013

Hello Folks! Here I am, blogging from my car (a.k.a. My second home)!

So this year, Annie is in secondary school, whilst Claire and Eva are in primary school and Solomon is still in kindy. That means I have 3 different school time schedules to run, hence the "second home" thing!

Between the different school times and the kids' various extra-curricular activities, not to mention helping them with homework and studies, I find that I really haven't got much time to myself this year. It's funny, I always thought that when the kids reached primary school, I'ld have more time to myself, since they would be in school for more than half the day.

Boy was I mistaken! By the time the kids get home from school and tuition it would be evening. Just enough time to squeeze in homework and studies before bed!

So it seems, I have less time now. This is why I decided to give up my cake "business". Cake decorating is my hobby, and I started taking orders to challenge myself, to push myself further. But it got to a point where it was more stress than enjoyment. Being stressed out also made me impatient with the kids. So I decided the kids obviously came first. Thus no more cake orders. It was a little sad, like closing a chapter, but it did feel good at the same time! Like a burden was lifted! Lol! (drama mama)

And this blog. I was almost on the verge of closing it down too.

It used to be that I wanted to do everything! Squeeze every second out of life! I didn't want to be someone who only dreams but never does.

But I realized that in a whirlwind of "busy-ness" I couldn't give the best of me to my family. It was far from the best; more like the tired, grumpy, short-tempered me! Obviously family is priority, and I think kids need us the most at this young age. I had better enjoy my time with them before they become teenagers who prefer the company of the computer!!

Therefore, I am in the process of streamlining my life; pruning off excess branches which are not important and only compromise what is really important (i.e. time with family)

Well, about the blog, firstly I ran out of space. I had reached the limit of memory space given free by Blogger. Also, maintaining this blog did take up quite a bit of my time. I usually blogged when I was sitting at the shop for hours, bored out of my wits, waiting for customers.

However, since I spend most of my time ferrying the kids nowadays, I am barely at the shop! Hence, no time to blog!

But I am still blogging you say? Yes, I have decided to keep this blog, as I think it is too precious a trove of memories to discard or discontinue. The fact that Blogger suddenly decided to increase the amount of free memory space and also my discovery of an iPhone Blogger app sealed my decision!

So now I can blog easily from my phone in my car, in between trips. So it used to be that I blogged while waiting for customers, whereas now I blog while waiting for the kids!

You can expect plenty of rambling posts from me from now on!! (similar to this one)! Lol!

So next pruning activity? I just might finally close my pharmacy!?! More on that next time...

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Mystery book

Over the holidays, I brought the kids to try out some musical instruments at the music school which cousin Amanda goes to for guitar lessons. They seemed to enjoy the classical instruments and took a liking to the teachers. So, I decided to let them stop their Yamaha Electone classes, as I was not extremely impressed with their progress there anyway, and the timing of their classes was a bit of a headache for me; the driver.

Anyways, all three girls, Annie, Claire and Eva chose to take piano lessons and Annie a second instrument, the cello. Solomon was over the moon when the teacher brought him upstairs to try his hand on the drums! So it was no surprise when he chose the drums and wanted the ukelele too, but I figured one at a time. So he's taking drum lessons for now and Kung Kung Paul even bought him a real proper drum set! Albeit a smaller version for kids...

So the other day, Solomon was looking for his theory book and asked me, "Where is my mystery book?"

Of course I laughed, then corrected him.... Then after a while he was calling it his "history book" instead! lol!

I was always reluctant to send them for piano classes, because piano classes were extremely traumatic for me when I was a kid. Even until this day, I can feel the dread in me, when I hear people practicing the scales! No, I am not exaggerating! I was never very good at the practical aspect of piano, i.e: the actual playing of the piano!! I was excellent when it came to theory, but I was crap when it came to reading notes! Sight reading was a nightmare!! I can play by ear, by memorizing the fingering, so classical piano was not for me. It didn't help that our teacher would scold and put a sharp pencil under your wrist so you would lift them up!

This is why I sent the kids to Yamaha initially, because the Electone, a type of organ, is easier and more fun. When I brought them to the new music school, I thought they would pick up a string instrument. However, since they have expressed interest in the classical piano, so be it. It has to be their own choice. (i.e; when they complain I can say you chose it not me!!! lol!)

Well, so far they seem to enjoy their classes! Let's hope it stays that way! It's always lovely to have music in your life.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Retreat, Lundu

 So after Christmas, the whole lot of us went to Retreat, a seaside resort in Lundu owned by the Sarawak Bank Employees Union. It is a wonderful place, having been recently refurbished and extended, it is clean and well-equipped. The only downside to the place was the sandflies!!!! The poor kids came back with multiple, extremely itchy bites! The adults had some too, but the kids had the most because they were out on the beach for longer.

Anyways, it started with our convoy of 5 cars....

Altogether, there were 17 kids, 11 adults, plus 4 kakaks (helpers)! We booked the chalet, which was lovely. It has 3 rooms, a kitchen and dining and seating area. Not to mention a patio with barbecue facilities! One of the rooms had a jacuzzi which was unfortunately not working though...

So we started the journey and reached Lundu town after around an hour? We stopped at the market for lunch, then went on for another 20 minutes to reach the resort.

We even had time for a 'photo-shoot'! lol!

When we reached the resort, the kids were so incredibly happy to see the 'hotel' standard of the resort! After the last trip to Lundu's Ocean Resort, they were expecting similar run-down bungalows with no televisions and antique air-conditioners!!

 Free child labour... we brought so much food etc.. it was like moving house....

The largest bedroom. There are two bedrooms downstairs, and another in the attic.

The kitchen and dining area..

There are three pools... a shallow one with fountains, a larger, deeper pool and another one with a fun slide.

The kids of course had fun on the beach; digging holes in the sand and jumping waves. We did not allow them to go far, as it was monsoon season and the current was very strong. A few days later, there was a tragic accident near where we were. On a church trip, 3 people drowned, and one of them was Sis no.3's neighbour's father. It was very sad and scary.

Barbeque dinner on the patio..

Bo su cho....

 What is it with men and their caveman instinct driven love for fires??!! Lol!

Well, at least the fire was useful, the kids could roast marshmallows over it and it helped keep the mozzies away some...

 Dad with the huge clam Sis no.2 found and boiled for him!

In case you were wondering how we fit so many kids and  so much luggage in a car, here's how; just dump a kid or two at the back on top of the cargo! :)

It was a fun getaway! It's always nice to spend time with the cousins!

Christmas in February

Oh gosh! It's February! I should've completed this post on Christmas yesterday, so at least it would still be dated January and wouldn't sound as bad... hehe...

Okay so let's have the Christmas pictures, for before you know it, Chinese New Year will be upon us! I just realized it's next weekend, so I've been cramming in some shopping before the traffic jams and mad rushes start!

So before Christmas, there was carolling at Ee Poh's coffee shop...

and also at Kung Kung's house.

On Christmas Eve, we had our usual Christmas dinner at dad's house...

Grace before meal... Dad's voice cracked when he prayed for those who were not with us... which of course got us all teary-eyed. Mum and Dad got married on Christmas eve and we always celebrated their anniversary during our Christmas eve dinners. How we wish she could be part of the love and laughter that is Christmas.

The adults get to sit down once the kids are done.

The just-demolished gingerbread house...

Lining up for ang pow! Kung Kung gives the best Christmas presents! lol!

Paparazzi hard at work...

Sis no.2 pouring flaming Chivas onto the Christmas pud!

Waiting for the presents....

At last!

More presents at home!

Solomon was over the moon with his new microphone! He knew what his present was all the while, but waited patiently till Christmas (or rather Christmas Eve... good enough) to play with it.

Read the shirt...

Eva chose her own Fairytopia Barbie doll.

Christmas day dinner was at Taiku's house. Look at the amazing turkey Uncle Dylan made!

After dinner, there were even more presents from Santarina! (Taiku)

Thanks for a lovely dinner Taiku and Uncle Dylan, and also having us for sleepovers!

So that was our wonderful Christmas 2012!!
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