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Christianity

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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

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Emma sprang another pleasant surprise on us all last week when she suddenly said, “Amen!” at the end of our bedtime prayer.  We were so surprised and just to make doubly sure, I suggested we say another prayer, after which she clearly said, “Amen!” again. :)

Ah, life’s little surprises are most definitely sweet!

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Emma responds very well to instructions now.  She’s also beginning to imitate what people around her are doing, especially her siblings.

This is what she does every time we get ready for our bedtime prayers.  I’ll say, “Let’s pray” and Emma will assume this position.  Last night, she even said, “Pray!”

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Our two older kids started their 2015 catechism classes two weeks ago.  For Ethan, he would be proceeding into the Std 3 class, whereas for Hannah, it was the beginning of a new experience as she started her class in the Preschool level.

The kids were super excited on that first day because they would be going to class with their best friends. :) Hannah had been looking forward to this day for a long time now.

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What’s important is that they now enjoy their sessions and look forward to it each week.  Ethan and Hannah are aiming for 100% attendance this year. 😀

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What this means for us is that we now have 1.5 hours alone with baby Emma on Saturday afternoons while her siblings are in church. :)

Now what can we do with all that time?  Perhaps we can go hang out and have some coffee… :)

 

Last Saturday, we attended the Catechism Graduation Ceremony for the Class of 2014.  Our Ethan had been attending catechism classes every Saturday afternoon for the past year, and this ceremony was just to close the chapter for 2014 before moving forward into 2015 next year.

It was held in the church sanctuary and we were treated to simple performances from each class.

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Doesn’t my boy look handsome? :)

Anyway, during the ceremony, certificates of achievement were also presented to those who had 100% attendance in catechism, and also those who had great participation in class.  I think Ethan wants to aim for the 100% attendance award next year. :)

Hannah too, was excitedly watching the entire ceremony.  She can’t wait to start catechism next year when she will be in the preschool class.

After procrastinating for so many months, what with the move and settling down and all, we finally managed to arrange for Emma’s baptism last Sunday.  We figured we had better do it now so that she would still “qualify” as an “infant”…after all, it’s called “infant baptism” for a reason, no?

A few close relatives turned up to witness the short and simple ceremony.  This time round, the baptism was held at a different church, one that is closer to our new home.  It lasted about half an hour and thereafter we proceeded to have lunch.

Photo-taking before the baptism commenced:

During the ceremony, Emma was busy blabbering away…  It was definitely an all-new experience for her, and certainly very educational for Ethan and Hannah too.  Ethan had been too young to remember what exactly happened when Hannah was baptised last time, so this time both Ethan and Hannah got to witness everything.

Towards the end of the baptism ceremony, it began to rain very heavily.  However, that did not dampen the ceremony.  It was a very special and meaningful one for us.

May the Almighty God bless us and keep us in his loving arms now and forevermore.

Lately I started to teach Hannah how to pray. I figured it’s about the right time now since Ethan learnt to pray roughly around the same age too.

She asked a lot of questions.

“Where is God?”
“Is God in our hearts all the time?”
“Why don’t we see God?”
“Do bad guys go to heaven?”

I told her that we can talk to God any time we want and wherever we are.  For a start, I suggested a good time would be at bedtime. She could say a simple sentence every night to thank God for something..anything..she could think of.  I told her to think of it as a “conversation with God”.

Initially she didn’t know what to say or how to do it but after some prompting, she started producing ideas of her own….every night, without fail.

“Dear God,” she would start,
“Thank you for my clothes.”
“Thank you for my teachers.”
“Thank you for my meals today.”

She ends each prayer with, “In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”

Tonight she said: “Dear God, thank you for the best mommy in the world!”

My heart melted.

And then she said, “I love you, Mommy!”

“I love you too, sweetie!”

I must have done something really good to deserve such a loving and sweet miracle. :)

I could ask for nothing more than my three little miracles, each one created with love, unique and special in their own way.

Every morning I wake up not knowing what the day will bring, but resting with the fact that it will be filled with their laughter and banter, “Mommy, can I have this, please?” and “Mommy, he did this to me!” and “Mommy, she’s whining!”

I want only to cherish them, nurture them and give them the best I can give.  I want them to grow up beautifully, knowing that they can always be confident in who they are and not have to live up to the standards of society, whatever they may be.

I am blessed because in their own little ways, I know, deep in my heart, that they love me too.  He still holds my hand when we cross the street, she says, “I love you a bajilion times, Mommy!” while giving me squeezy-hugs, and the littlest one’s gaze follows me wherever I go.  Can’t wait for her to start talking. :)

My life is filled with challenges, and yet it is filled with love.

And every night I go to bed, it is with a fervent prayer that God’s blessing be upon each one of them.  I’m so grateful for their presence in my life and I could ask for nothing more.

It was Hannah’s first time being personally invited to a birthday party and it was the birthday of her good pal in school, Max.  The party was aptly themed Jake and the Neverland Pirates.   Just look at how creative the invites were made…”message in a bottle” :)

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I got the kids involved by getting Ethan to write the birthday message on the presents.

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Pete was supposed to touch down in Penang that very day, so I single-handedly brought both Ethan and Hannah to the party.  They were absolutely excited and kept asking me when it would be time to change into the pirate “costumes”.  I even added a little shell necklace for Hannah (after I took the photo below) – she claims it contained pixie dust! :) – You’ll catch glimpses of the pixie dust necklace in some of the photos below.

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All in all, the kids had a splendid time, as the pictures below prove.  I didn’t bring my camera along, so most of my own pictures were taken with my iPhone.  The others were *borrowed* from someone else… :)

One of Hannah’s favorite snacks of the day: sliced orange pirate ships on blue jelly water!

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Kids being briefed on their first game, by a very gracious party host, Tess, Max’s Mom.  Notice Hannah is multi-tasking by listening AND snacking on yummy popcorn too!

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Ethan trying his VERY best to burst the balloon, to get the promised “treasure” captured in the balloon.

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…and VICTORY, finally!!

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Hannah and Ethan taking their turns at “Pin the Sword on Jake” (a la “Pin the tail on the donkey”)!

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Walking the Plank… :)

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Getting ready for the next game: Passing the Parcel…incidentally, Ethan won this game and he was ever so proud of it :)

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Birthday cake time, and it’s a beautiful pirate ship with candle canons at the side.  Awesome!

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Can you tell she’s totally enjoying her cake? :)

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She finally got her turn on the swing!  Patience definitely pays :)

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Non-watermarked photos credited to Picsy Studio

The kids went to their (somewhat) first Sunday School a couple of weeks back.  Well, I say “somewhat”, because Ethan had been once when he was a little younger, but hadn’t gone since.  For Hannah, it was her first time, of course made so much easier with the presence of her brother.

That Sunday, the kids had a praise and singing session at the start, followed by classroom activities according to age group.  Ethan and Hannah happened to fall into the same class (age group 3-6).

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I expected them both to be a little shy and reserved, it being their first time, but I was surprised that Ethan was very vocal, and Hannah was not intimidated too.  They spoke freely to the Sunday School teacher and did their coloring and even volunteered some answers!

A definitely fruitful Sunday, which the kids enjoyed immensely.

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