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Celebrations

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In September (yeah, I know this is an extremely delayed post…so sorry about that, but hopefully the pictures will be more than enough to make up for that! The kids and hubby have been very good at pushing and encouraging me to finish this post!), we took a highly-overdued family vacation and headed down south to the kids-absolutely-love-the-place-but-it-is-so-freaking-HOT LEGOLAND in Nusajaya, Johor.  We had been to Legoland in Carlsbad, CA seven years ago, but back then it was just with Ethan and I was heavily pregnant with Hannah.  I doubt Ethan remembers much of Legoland Carlsbad apart from what I have recorded in this blog, so the visit to Johor’s Legoland could be considered a fresh experience for the kids.

We decided to stay in the Legoland Hotel whilst we were there, which would make it so much more convenient for us, especially with kids along.  No complaints there and the room we had was spectacular.  More on that later.

On the day we were to start our vacation, everyone woke up super early.  Our flight from Penang to Johor was at 7:15a.m. so I had arranged for a cab to pick us up at 5:30a.m. that morning.  It was pouring!  But everyone was in a happy mood and we got on the plane, which departed and arrived on schedule.

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We arrived in Legoland Hotel at about 10:00a.m. and because it was still early, our room was not ready yet.  We decided to put our luggage with the concierge and go right in to Legoland.

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Yes, we were all raring to go. Hahaha.  And here are the pictures to prove it.

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Read the rest of this entry »

Sunday May 8 2016 was an important and special day for us as a family, and even more so for Ethan.  It was the day he participated in the Sacrament of Holy Communion for the very first time.

Words cannot express my pride for my little boy and the entire celebration touched my heart and soul so very deeply.

The special day also coincided with Mother’s Day this year, so it was a happy celebration all around.  Ethan was also selected to give a short speech on behalf of all the first holy communicants, at the end of the celebration.  Unfortunately I couldn’t get a clear video of his speech because Emma kept wanting to snatch my phone!

Here are some photos commemorating the event…

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Image Source

Little Emma has been adoring Snoopy ever since a popular mall in Penang decked the whole mall in Snoopy and Peanuts paraphernalia several months back.  She even asked Ah Mah in Ipoh for the little Snoopy figurine to bring back to Penang!

So it doesn’t take a genius to figure out what cake I had to make for Emma’s birthday this year.  We kept this a family affair and given that I know Emma doesn’t really like eating cake (she only likes to look at it), I chose to just order the edible sheet with a Snoopy and Charlie Brown design, which I just placed on top of the cake!

Emma had been asking for her “Snoopy Cake” well over a week before her actual birthday, so she was really eager as punch to cut the cake.

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To add to her joy, I ordered a handmade amigurumi Snoopy from a dear friend.  The happiness on Emma’s face when she opened her present was simply priceless.

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(I also had an adorable Dutch Rabbit handmade for Hannah for her birthday; she named her Rosie, by the way.)

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All in all, a very cozy family celebration of Emma’s birthday.  She has really grown into a pretty, adorable, sweet three-year old.  She calls herself a “small girl” now (not a “small baby”!)

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♥ Happy Birthday Emma! ♥

My dearest Hannah turned 7 just yesterday, and just when I was looking at how much she had grown based on her little baby photos and toddler pictures I posted on Facebook not long ago.

We had a birthday celebration for her at home just last weekend.  She initially wanted a Lego Friends themed party, but after looking at some other ideas on Pinterest, she decided on an Art themed party, which is so apt given that my little snowflake is such an artist in the making!

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This was such a fun party to plan because everything was so colorful and bright! Pinterest definitely helped a lot :)

This is part of the loot I had to deal with when packing the kids’ party packs a few days before the party:

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Of course, for an art party, I just HAD to make my ever-popular playdough (recipe here) and include that in the party pack:

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Hannah chose the colors for the playdough. :)

Here are the kids excitedly waiting for the guests to arrive…

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The food spread for tea-time snacks:

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We had several party activities and games for the kids, of course.  They were first invited to draw something on a welcome white board, after which Hannah chose her favorite two, who will become the team leaders for another game.

Can you guess which drawings Hannah picked?

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We also had a cupcake decorating station where the kids could decorate their own cupcake and bring them home.  Some (very hungry ones) were seen eating the cupcakes as they decorated them and some cupcakes didn’t even make it to the take-home container!  LOL

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The kids played the every-popular “Pass the Parcel”, but this time it was “Pass the Artist Teddy Bear”!  Lots of laughs and lots of disallowed throwing ensued, but everyone had a good time.

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We then played a game of Win, Lose or Draw with the kids split into two teams.  What a riot!  We had kids coming closer and closer to the board and so much shouting everywhere!

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Then it was time to cut the cake.  I made a New York Cheesecake (upon Hannah’s special request) and shaped it to look like an artist palette (recipe here).  However, I piped on her name using royal icing in the morning and it melted!  OMG!!!  I had to quickly redo the icing, pipe it on and quickly gathered everyone together to sing the birthday song for Hannah to cut the cake, before the name melted away again!

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Hmmmm…although…it could pass off as a deliberate attempt at making the words look “water-colory”-like, don’t you think?  All along the theme of party :)

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So glad that everyone had an awesome time at the party.  Thank you so much to all who came and made the celebration such a meaningful one for my sweetheart Hannah.  She definitely enjoyed herself tremendously!

♥ Happy Birthday Hannah! 

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It’s the Year of the Monkey – reason enough to monkey around?  Well, definitely reason enough to eat loads of yummy yummy food (not just bananas) and have lots of great fun!

Traditional Reunion Dinner and 1st Day Chinese Lunar New Year in Ah Mah and Ah Kong’s house in Ipoh:

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A simple dinner gathering back home in Penang:

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Wishing everyone a happy, blessed and prosperous year ahead full of health and love in abundance!

Has it already been 10 years since I became a mother?  I really just can’t believe it, but it’s true!

Ethan turned 10 on January 31st and it’s such a heartwarming feeling to see how much he has grown…especially since Facebook “reminds” us of our memories from years ago on such and such a date.

This year, we had initially planned to have a simple football themed party at home but earlier in January, he attended a laser tag birthday party and got hooked.  So we decided to have a small gathering at Laser Warzone in Gurney Plaza instead (otherwise he would be playing pretend laser tag all around the house and I can’t have that!)

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I incorporated the original football theme into this laser tag venue celebration.  Obviously Ethan’s favorite soccer team played a huge role in the theme, food and party pack decor.

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The kids just could not wait to get down to laser tag business.

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They had 4 laser tag games in total and we played 2 solo games and 2 team games.  Of course the cake cutting and food was done right before the last game, so that the kids could “refuel”.

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Laser Tag parties = good workout for the kids with good clean fun (read: they sleep better at night); Also, minimal preparation for the party and the following day Ethan said his friends commented that it was the best birthday party ever!  Guess it was a resounding success! :)

After the party, we did some Chinese New Year shopping and ended up having dinner at Chili’s.  They still gave a free dessert for the birthday boy, so Ethan got his song and dessert too! :)

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 HAPPY BIRTHDAY ETHAN!!!

Hannah’s 4-year adventure from Playgroup, through Nursery, Kindergarten 1 and then Kindergarten 2, culminated in a simple yet meaningful graduation ceremony for all the K2 graduands, held in the school grounds on the Saturday after the last day of school.

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My little girl had been looking forward to this day for a long time and she had also been eagerly practising one of their celebratory songs “Yesterday’s Dream”.

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Dressed beautifully in a long, white gown, Hannah was, in my opinion, the perfect picture of poise and confidence, as she walked up to accept her graduation certificate.

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The graduation ceremony marks the end of her preschool journey, with a promise of many exciting things up ahead.

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So proud of you, my little snowflake!  You’re destined for great things and I’m loving each moment and each day spent with you, watching you grow and bloom!

At the pinnacle of Hannah’s preschool journey, we have the school concert.  Unlike any regular preschool concert, her school prides itself in producing spectacular performances which is one-of-a-kind, in a edu-theater style and is a whole play in itself.  From the writing of the script, to choreography and to the beautiful costumes, I am always left in awe when I watch her preschool concerts.

This year was even more special than last year’s, because it was her final year in preschool, and Hannah had been eagerly waiting for the concert day.

Now, unlike the past years where the concert was produced in either tri-lingual or bi-lingual, this year the kids put up 2 separate stories which were loved by all: The Pied Piper of Hamelin (in Chinese) & Treasure Island (in English).  I found the story line more enjoyable when the concert is done in a single language for separate stories, like this year.

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From the beginning of the school year, Hannah had been eagerly awaiting the concert.  From the inception of the play to the casting of the parts, to the selection of costumes, and rehearsing, she had been excitedly updating me in bits and pieces…so as not to reveal the entire story altogether.

For a bunch of 6-year-olds, performing this school play was no mean feat, given that there were many costume changes involved and everything had to be done in super-quick time.

Here are a few random shots from her concert performance.  Hannah played several parts in the concert:

  • One of the mice in the Pied Piper of Hamelin
  • One of the citizens in the village of Hamelin
  • Tattoo Charlie in Treasure Island
  • Queen Benjamina Gunn in Treasure Island (The original story casted this as Benjamin Gunn, the marooned crewman on a remote island, but in Hannah’s concert, the script was rewritten to replace Ben Gunn with Queen Benjamina Gunn)

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We have every reason possible to be beaming with pride for our little girl.  She performed every single role with such passion and commitment, and she was full of confidence on stage.  I could hardly believe she was just a wee little baby not too long ago.

She told me later that she enjoyed performing so much, she wished there would be another concert soon!

Well done, my little snowflake!

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Note: We respect your privacy, so if you see a picture of your child in this post and would prefer for me to blot out his/her face, please email me at joyce.cheah (at) gmail.com and I will do the needful.  Thank you.

 

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We are Stage Pass Members of the Hard Rock Hotel, and although our primary reason for becoming members was to utilize the pool, we are also given a complimentary night’s stay in the hotel, as one of the benefits of membership.  Our deadline for redemption is in July, so we finally decided to “move” to the hotel for a night last weekend, before the benefit expires.

We only told the kids about it the day before we were to check in, and boy, were they excited!  I was worried they would not be able to sleep that night!

Ethan still had school activities until 4:00p.m., so when we checked in, it was already 5:00p.m.!

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Dinner Shots

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We spent our morning at the pool after a scrumptious buffet breakfast (which included chocolate milk for the kids!!).

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It was a fun and enjoyable holiday away from home, although a short one and not really that far from home… LOL!  Ethan left a little thank you souvenir for the housekeeping staff too!

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I still have a back rub to redeem as part of the membership benefits though…need to make an appointment soon!

Hey peeps!!  Have you seen Hannah and Emma on television yet?  They are featured on two different videos as part of the Disney Junior Birthday Book for the month of March.

Last year, they didn’t get featured so this year, I made it a point to submit their pictures really early.  These are videos taken from the feature in the Disney Junior Asia Birthday Book site online.

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