something old, something new

Every year as we draw closer to the season of examinations, it isn't just the students who get jittery, teachers too. But like all previous years, we continue to pray for them. Schools and teachers keep their spirits up with words of encouragement, and little tokens.

It started with an innocent "Girls (my co-form teachers), are you from the era where we made friendship bands?" My extremely obliging friends weren't but they agreed wholeheartedly to learn the art of braiding.

 So we started. We did them in the evenings, in-between classes, and of course, while on those marking breaks and managed to complete the task in time.

Each band was placed into the pouches, complete with a note Ms Fatin wrote for them and they were handed out to the girls in class when we celebrated Teachers' Day. Really thankful and grateful for these wonderful friends / co-form teachers making this come true. :) 

Why friendship bands? Some of the friendships forged during secondary school days would last our lifetime and we wanted the girls to know that. Each band was braided with different colours - to let them know that individually, they are beautiful, but together they become magical. We want them to know that they could always count on each other, to look out for one another.

 Daddy helped too - he faithfully held on the knots in one hand while watching television in the evenings while I braided away. I promised C that she could have 1 too when she asked for it but only after I had completed those for the class. 2 days ago, we went down to a craft shop where she picked out her favourite colours. I made the band into a key holder as her old one was coming apart.

Teachers' Day 2018

This time of the year is always an exciting time for the both of us. We would busy ourselves with ideas for what we would be giving C's teachers - surf the Internet, examine the possibilities - read: hopefully not too difficult to make and then discuss the materials we need, and finally spend time putting them together.

This year, we came up with this.

We got these lovely mason jars and cut these pretty craft papers which we would use as the cover. What we like about these mason jars: they come with detachable lid. Should the teachers want to reuse the jars for other purposes like storing of spices in the kitchen, they could always put the lids back on and the jars would be air-tight.  

Then it was putting the gifts together that was fun. Baking soda and then essential oils.

She spent some time writing her little notes of appreciation.

And viola! we made scented diffusers for her teachers.

The air plants were for her male teachers while the aroma diffusers were meant for her female ones. 

She was pretty excited about giving them the gifts. Hopefully they would like them. :)

all too serious

One of C's favourite subjects in school is Food and Consumer Education (FCE) and since the beginning of Term 3, she has been coming back with food like chicken kebabs, chicken stew, and Shepherd's Pie. Then several days back, she told us that a test was coming up and she wanted to cook fried rice. Okay, that is manageable, I thought.  This was until she added, "Mummy, I want my fried rice to be wrapped in egg."


So what did the good Mummy do? She went groceries shopping for the necessary ingredients. I told C that she would need practice - This dish is not something you can put together without hands-on activity.

We managed to find some time off to put the practice round together.

First try: not too bad. She was a little clumsy while handling the utensils. Although the egg didn't break, and she heaved a huge sign of relief, she wasn't quite pleased with the shape of how it turned out so she asked if she could do another.

So here it is. Second time round, she was definitely a lot more confident. All I did was watch her from the side.  
Taste test: The omurice was absolutely heavenly!

C seemed pretty pleased with herself too. :) No prizes for guessing what our dinner was that evening.

In need of a break!

It was a trip that we were looking forward to - The term has been extremely hectic and we were literally counting down to the long weekend.

The resort was everything we had expected! 

We decided to have the BBQ that every evening as we weren't sure if the good weather would hold up. Besides, this was one of our highlights and we didn't want to be disappointed. The experience of sitting by the fire and watching the food cook slowly over the flames was truly one of a kind - we would have enjoyed it even more had we not have to fend off those pesky flies! 

During our 3 short, idyllic days, we did :

1) Dipping in the salt water, azure blue lagoon

2) Segway ride around the lagoon

This 2-wheeler was easy enough to maneuver and handle. With some simple instructions from the guide, we were soon on our way around the lagoon.

3) scooting

C tried riding it too.

Daddy was doing most of the driving. By the end of the second day, all three of us were on this scooter.

4) Spa
This was all me - Daddy and C were relaxing in our tents and idling their time away with a game of Monopoly. 

5) All-Terrain-Vehicle

Both daughter and father enjoyed this activity tremendously! Luckily for C, she was not the least upset when muddy water entered the ATV, nor when they got onto her clothes. She was steady most of the time and could remembered to put the gear back on neutral when we came to a stop. She said if she could do this again, she would. :)

So there you have it - a fun-filled short getaway. 

While we were there, we met someone who asked if we had a blog, to which I answered "yes". The person then introduced himself and said he has been following the blog for several years. At that moment, I felt really awful as I haven't been updating the blog since December 2017, and totally irresponsible of me to just leave the blog hanging.

What was more surprising was to find out that there are others, besides close friends and family members, who take the time to read my posts. "Thank you, again."

parting gift

We were set from day 1 that this would be the school that C attends and in a blink of an eye, this 6-years journey is nearing the end. Over the years, C has been blessed with dedicated and caring teachers. They have nurtured and guided her, reprimanded, and praised her too.

Many a times, C comes home with little gifts like a stationery set, or markers, or stickers. Gifts that her teachers had given to the class as tokens of encouragement. This year alone, C has been given 2 personalised pencil cases, complete with pens and the necessary writing materials. I guess, in preparation for the exams as children are only allowed to use transparent pencil cases to hold their stationery. How very thoughtful!

Yet the School, and the Parents' Support Group surprised us with this parting gift:

Each class has its individual photo book. The teachers have taken pictures throughout the year, capturing events the class has celebrated, crystallizing the special moments the girls have experienced. They were also given a mug with the words "Be Bold, and Shine". C loves the mug very much indeed and she drinks her Milo out of it every day now. 

Really, the School, the teachers, and the parents - they think of everything. :) We want to say "thank you."

National Gallery!

When we learned that C would be involved in the exhibition at the National Gallery, we were thrilled. C was equally excited and started working on her project.

The art school that C attends, it was the school's 20th anniversary and the staff marked the occasion with a huge celebration. Teachers were honored, and of course students who have walked through its doors were given recognition. The school has helped many students move on to their choice of study in the various reputed universities. C received an award from Mrs Ong-Ang Ai Boon, executive Director of the Association of Banks in Singapore.  She was one of the distinguished guests at the ceremony. 

This is C's masterpiece. Her teacher came up to speak to us while we were admiring her work. She commented that C is good with her technique and she has began conceptualising her own pieces. She knows how to use the research she has done to come up with new ideas. 

Teachers' Day 2017

This is C's final year with her teachers in the primary school. 

Previous years, we would fuss over what to get for her teachers but this year was relatively "easy". C is taking her PSLE this year and the pace has slowly but surely quicken. The work that she has to do each day is considerably more too. I told her that her teachers are also working just as hard, to prepare the children for the exam.

Thus explains our gifts to her teachers this year. 

Intoxicating Ipoh June 2017 Part 2

The food! Oh, Ipoh has so much to offer when it comes to good food. Despite us being there for 4 days, we only managed this little bit.

In a town so rich in history, we often found ourselves seated in coffee shops that are more than 40 years old and the businesses being run by second or even third generation of their founders. Like this bak kut teh place, a place the locals go to for their fix.

Ipoh White Coffee - where it all started. 

Another coffee joint we visited. This place is fairly young compared to her cousins in Old Town. The crowd that it caters to is definitely different.

One cannot visit Ipoh and not eat this: 怡保芽菜鸡
There are so many places that sell this but we needed to go to the one we always frequented. C were amazed at the chewiness of the noodles and finished the entire bowl. The fat juicy beansprouts were crunchy - such a simple dish but truly satisfying.

Dim sum breakfast for 2 mornings. 2 different places, one visited more by tourists and the other by the locals. Both were good, I must say, and both offered different experiences. The former is a double storey restaurant while the other is nestled deep in a residential estate.

Salted baked chicken. Had to do a takeaway because they do not cater to dine-in. We drove right up to the store and from the inside of the car, gestured to the attendants in the store. Instinctively, they packed  and came out with our order. 

our dad's favourite! He wouldn't go without this each time he was in Ipoh. Luckily we were early that evening and got our seats before the dinner crowd came.

It was a choice between crabs and lok lok and C chose to eat this. :) Good choice, really because how often would one get to eat by the side of the road? 

One thing about road trips - we always have our eyes peeled for things we seldom see. C got to try fresh lotus seeds.

On our way to Teluk Intan, we stopped by Batu Gajar for prawns. We don't have such prawns in Singapore. C observed that they have such big heads compared to what we have at home.

Brycen's favourite! He loves the fried kway tiao!

The best chee cheong fun ever! We have been in love with this for as long as we have lived. Different states have their versions of chee cheong fun and this is Teluk Intan's. We can get it in Singapore (there is a restaurant right here in Singapore that sells this but the density of the "fun" isn't quite the same - way too thin) 

Our 4-day trip went by really quickly... 

and we were soon heading out to the airport for our flight home. 

Daddy said we should resume our road trips to Malaysia - there is still so much of exploring to do Up North and what better way than to do it with driving. :) So yah, we will. 

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