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Bible Verse of the Day

Exercise

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Ethan participated in an inter-school football tournament for Under 11s in early November this year.  The tournament saw several schools in Penang and one from KL compete in a half-day affair, which began with a rather wet and rainy morning.

This did not dampen the spirits of all the kids though, and they all had a lot of fun.  It was a good experience and great exposure playing in a team environment, and we are looking forward to more tournaments such as these.

Can you spot Ethan in these photos?

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Last Sunday morning, Hannah had her Sports Day event in school.  I was especially glad (as was she) that she could make it, because my little girl had been ill the whole of the previous week and had missed 5 whole days of school.  She had been down with a very high fever (caused by bacterial infection) which had gone up and down, with a high of 40.2°C, and had rendered her weak and also made her lose her appetite.

Anyway, that’s all in the past and I am very proud of my little fighter as she battled her illness with a steel front.

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Hannah is in K2, and as is tradition, the K2 kids would set up food stalls for a bake sale with proceeds going to their class fund.  Hannah made the poster for her stall at home, because she was still recuperating at home when her friends made theirs in school.  On the day before Sports Day, I made some wholesome and healthy chocolate beetroot and pumpkin muffins to pack for sale.

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Hannah with her friend running the food stall…

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It was an overcast Sports Day, so it wasn’t too hot, to the relief of “people who fear the heat” like me.  The event started with the march past… just look how happy Hannah is!

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…followed by a warm-up exercise session

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Hannah was aiming to get her first gold medal from Sports Day…

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…and she successfully did!!!

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Hannah continued her entrepreneurial stint selling her muffins, but I think at the end of the day the highlight was winning that coveted gold medal.

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During the long year-end holidays that just passsed, we decided that Ethan and Hannah should make full use of it to learn a lifelong skill in swimming.  I planned for an “intensive” 10-coaching sessions course for them, and worked hard to ensure they completed it before the craziness of the school term began.

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I’m pleased to say that we completed our ten lessons on the Friday before school began.

Even more so, in just 10 lessons, I’m so proud that Ethan and Hannah can now float and move in the water.  They are no longer afraid of putting their heads underwater and have gained water confidence in leaps and bounds.  Both kids are learning their forward crawl, and also a little bit of backstroke.

With a little bit more practice, we should be able to add the breathing part of the crawl. :)

The kids really look forward to each coaching session, and don’t even mind the slight drizzle during some lessons.  It helps that the coach was super cool with kids and he was able to tailor each lesson to each kid as he deemed fit.  For instance, Hannah was initially more comfortable on her back, whereas Ethan was more confident on his front.  So Hannah started learning the backstroke kick first while Ethan did the forward crawl.

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We would have loved to continue with the coaching sessions under this swim coach, but our schedule currently does not permit.  Perhaps when the next holidays come around, we’ll arrange something.

Meanwhile, I hope to take the kids swimming at least once a week or once a fortnight at least, just to ensure they keep practising. :)

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Okay, we’ve tried.  On several occasions.  In different pools, different circumstances.

But we have not been successful in teaching the kids how to swim.

Now how can we be swimmers and our kids don’t swim?!  That’s totally unheard of.

The furthest we got (so far) was teaching Ethan how to blow bubbles and Hannah how to move with arm floats.

Sigh.  Epic fail.

Then some friends were saying that kids would learn much better and faster with a swim coach.  Refusing to believe this but also curious to give it a shot, I contacted this well-recommended swim coach and arranged for some lessons for Ethan and Hannah.  After all, they were on holiday now so swimming lessons seemed like the perfect thing to do.

We decided on combined lessons at first despite their age gap, and also because I figured it would be more conducive for me, taking the kids by myself to the pool with a baby in tow.

So first lesson started off okay.  The kids were kicking happily and then the coach moved to teaching them how to blow bubbles underwater.  Hannah had some water enter her nose and she shut out completely.  Didn’t want to continue and said she didn’t want to learn how to swim anymore. :(

Ethan, on the other hand, continued with the lesson and at the end of the 45 minutes, he could already float.  In his own words, Ethan said, “Mommy, floating in the water is like MAGIC!”

As for Hannah, after we came home and had a short chat with her, she said she would prefer individual lessons, so from the 2nd lesson onwards, the kids were on individual lessons.

And what a transformation that was.

After the second lesson, with some 1:1 coaching, our little Hannah was able to float and kick and move!  She even says, “I’ve changed my mind now, Mommy.  I LOVE swimming lessons!”

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Well, that’s certainly half the battle won!

They have completed 4 lessons thus far, with 6 more to go each.  So far, they can both move while kicking in the water, and Ethan can do the wall push too.  Both Ethan and Hannah are also more confident in the water and they can open their eyes underwater now.  They are also perfecting their “float on the back” technique : something I like to call “facing your fear”.

Ethan can kick and move quite far in the water now…very proud of both of them!

Before they began their coaching sessions, the coach did not promise me that the kids would learn how to swim like a fish at the end of the 10 sessions, but he did say that the kids would be taught water confidence and would be able to float.  Based on their progress thus far, I could not be happier..!

After he started to float and move in the water, Ethan asked, “Mommy, why didn’t YOU teach me how to float and blow bubbles??”

“But I did!  I tried but no one would listen!” I said.  Duh.

And just in case your were wondering, yes, I take all three kids out on my own for the swim lessons. :)  Emma loves playing with sand, when she’s not busy drinking milk or munching on dried cranberries.

Well, if I am adventurous this coming week, I might change Emma into her bathing suit and let her paddle in the water a little.  We’ll see. :)

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I’m very happy to see all my kids putting in an effort to exercise.  Today they will demonstrate how to perform the Down Dog pose.  When done correctly, the Down Dog pose will energize the body and calm the mind, and results in an excellent all-over stretch.

To jog your memory, here’s Ethan doing the down dog when he was just 3 years’ old!

Down Dog example #1: Ethan

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Down Dog example #2: Hannah

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Down Dog example #3: Emma

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Have you done the Down Dog today yet? :)

In my ongoing efforts in bringing back some semblance of fitness into my already-overbusied life, I’m trying to to the 7-minute HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) at least once a day.  There are 12 different exercises to be done in intervals of 30 seconds each, with a 10-second recovery period in between.

One of the exercises is a Wall Sit, and after I’d explained to the kids how I do it, Hannah was happily “practising” it herself.  What was amusing was that after she demonstrated the exercise, Emma walked over to the wall, and tried to do the same thing!

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My two girls…they have just grown so close to each other.  I pray they will grow up in each other’s love and support always. 

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Hannah’s school had their annual Sports Day just over a week ago.  She had been practising very hard for her team event and naturally, she was very excited about the whole thing.  She was very concerned about getting to school on time that morning, so I had to reassure her that we will leave early so we will definitely be on time.

At the start of the Sports Day, the classes had the march past.  Hannah was supposed to hold the sign for her class, but she says the boy in front snatched it from her.

Then the kids provided some entertainment via warm-up exercises:

Doing the class cheer, in English and Mandarin:

“Teacher asked me to hold the sign again…”

Smallest member of Hannah’s cheering squad:

Video-taking responsibilities were delegated to our videographer-in-training:

Hannah’s class event…..see Hannah in action :)

She did really well, and we’re all so very proud of her!

 

(all together now…)

Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like that’s what you wanna do

Several weeks ago, a old friend of ours paid us a visit.  We had not seen each other for yonks, so we had a good time catching up on what’s going on with each other.  We also took this golden opportunity to visit the Heritage Trail in Georgetown together with our friend and his family.  Although we have been living in Penang for so long, it was Pete’s second visit and the kids’ and my first visit.  It was slightly cloudy that day but we managed to cover quite a few key places.

Khoo Kongsi

Obligatory Street Art Photos

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