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Bible Verse of the Day

Growing Up

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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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So it has been about a month now that Emma started playschool.  We had hesitated starting her off in January because I was not convinced then that she would be okay on her own, what with her skin sensitivities and her itch that could come and go at any time.  Plus…she’s still my little baby!!

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However as she approached her third birthday, she had shown signs that she was ready for school.  She was a very active child, and she was eager to learn and explore.  In addition, her skin was under control and she could finally now wear normal toddler clothes.  So we decided to start her off in playschool in April.

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The first week or so was an orientation week where I could be with her in the class.  I was pleasantly surprised that she happily and willingly sat in circle time on her own and ate at snack time on her own from the get go.  She was a little bit shy at first but she did not put up a fuss.

She happily played with toys when she had the chance to do so, and even had the opportunity to do some finger painting on the first day itself!

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On the third day of school, I told Emma that I would be sitting outside her classroom to wait for her and she was okay with it.  From the 5th day onwards, I would walk her to class in the morning and help her settle down, then I would say goodbye with a hug and kiss and she was fine.

Now she greets me with a cheerful happy smile and wave when I pick her up, which is one of my highlights of the day. 🙂

The only problem is that she would want to play in the school playground after school every day, and it is SO hard to pry her from the playground!  She is also very gungho, and although initially I was very scared and concerned that she would not be able to maneuver the playground equipment on her own, she is proving me wrong.

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So yes, I am definitely happy that she is in a loving, wonderful environment for school, and she is learning lots in terms of socialising and being herself.  She also recently started singing and saying some stuff in Chinese, without my prompting her!

Exciting and glorious days ahead! ♥

 

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At ten years old, my little big man had his first stayover church camp last weekend.  Yes, I was freaked out at the idea at first and yes, “worried and concerned” was an understatement when I first learnt it was going to be a stayover camp.

Ethan was super excited about it though; “It’s compulsory, Mommy…”

Well, actually he was a bit disappointed when I told him it was not going to be a “sleep in the tent” kind of camp, but rather in dormitories.  But it was going to be an exciting adventure for sure!

Yes, it was part of the journey Ethan was embarking on this year, as he heads towards celebrating his first holy communion in May.  Big milestone!

But yeah, I was worried.

Anyway, the day of the camp came. And Daddy complained that I had packed too many things for a one night stay.

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We dropped him off at church and a big bus took all the first holy communicants to the church in Balik Pulau for the camp proper.

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We decided to attend the evening mass at the church so that we could catch a glimpse of our boy and also to check out the living condition at camp.

No air-conditioning in the rooms and the boys all slept on single mattresses in a room with only the fan on.  He looked….HAPPY.  And that was all I needed to know.

Fast forward to the following day and we had a short meeting with the camp facilitators at church before the bus brought the kids back to church.

Ethan said he was chatting with his friends till 4 a.m. the night before!  When asked if he would go for camp again, he answered yes without hesitation.

My boy is growing up.  Most definitely.

I’m eternally grateful that Jesus is guiding the way.

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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! 

This is how I like to hone the creativity in my kids.  Not by telling them what to do and how to do it, but letting them explore and find out for themselves.

In art especially, it is important not to be TOLD what to do but to explore and more often than not, surprise yourself with your creations.

Here are Hannah and Ethan’s cartoon fight scenes!  Can you tell which is whose? 🙂

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They watched a simple tutorial on the telly and decided that they wanted to do it themselves, and there ya go… I absolutely love it.

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!!!

This week, most kids start a new school year, and so did my kids.  For Hannah, it was also a new school and a whole new experience.

We were initially going to homeschool Hannah but over the holidays, we decided that it would be in her best interest to let her start in a brick and mortar school first.  My little snowflake thrives with friends around her and is very sociable.  Her kindergarten teacher also commented that she looked rather sad when her kindergarten friends were discussing their impending school lives, so we figured she was ready for school.  After all, we can homeschool anytime we want, but we can’t go to regular school that easily if we homeschool first.  I guess it doesn’t hurt to try.

She attended an interview and an assessment test at her new school at the beginning of the holidays.  She was assessed on I.Q., English and Bahasa Malaysia, and I am pleased that she did very well.

So over the holidays, I had been busy getting her school gear, wrapping school books, and oh yeah…ironing school uniforms.

And finally January 5th came!

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Look at how happy she is!  She looks forward to going to school every day, and I am so blessed that my kids don’t complain at all.  No tears and all happiness… ♥♥♥

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She’s definitely gotten a good headstart in school, and she eagerly gets ready every morning.  I am not too bothered about good grades and all, but I believe that the experience she gains from being in a school environment (like a “little world”) is crucial in bringing out the best in her.

  • Hannah has lunch in school, and I allow her to select her meals on her own.  Gives her a sense of independence and accountability.
  • Hannah has her own locker in school, so she can leave most of her books in the locker and only brings back those she needs.  I am against heavy school bags for kids, so this is a good plus point.  I also got her a lock for the locker, with a number combination which she needs to remember.  Again…a very good way to instill responsibility.
  • She has her own planner where she will need to jot down any notes to remind her to do or bring stuff, homework assignments, etc.

She is very happy thus far, and that in turn makes me happy too.  Couldn’t ask for more…

Yesterday evening, while we were out on one of our Christmas shopping trips, I asked Hannah if she was all ready to get her ears pierced.  She had been requesting to get her ears pierced for a couple of months now, but we just could not find the time yet.

I had never made it compulsory for her to pierce her ears.  When she had asked me years before if all girls had to do it, I reassured her that it was entirely up to her.  And I told her it didn’t matter if she did it now, or 10 years later or even not do it at all…

However, she recently told me she wanted to get her ears pierced and since we were at the mall where my friend told me she took her girls to get their ears pierced, we decided to go for it, since Hannah confidently said, “Of course I’m ready Mommy!  Let’s go!”

Some ear-piercing stalls do the piercing for both ears together, but since the lady was solely manning her stall, she did it one ear at a time.

First Hannah was asked to choose a pair of stainless steel earrings to be worn after the piercing.  She chose a pair of earrings with a green emerald-like stone.

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Next, the lady piercer marked 2 dots on her ear lobes so that she will know where to place the piercing.  I had to ask her to change the positioning a couple of times…until I was absolutely satisfied.

Before the actual piercing, some numbing spray was applied to the ear lobes, to lessen the pain.  Then the ears were pierced.

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After the first piercing, Hannah said, “It’s painful!  Feels like she stapled my ear!!”

But she was ok to go through the second one and I told her it was just going to be a few seconds….

After the procedure, I asked her if she regretted doing it and she said no. 🙂

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She’s very very happy and loves her earrings.  In fact, she has been telling me that she would like to wear my other earrings and that we can share earrings too!  Haha…

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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!

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  • When he discusses video game tactics, and leaderboard scores with his dad, and you have absolutely nothing to contribute to the conversation.
  • When he knows most of the songs on the radio, including the singers
  • When he knows trivia about entertainers you know nothing about.
  • When he figures out how to tune the radio in his room to his favorite radio channel, and spends time “chillin'” by listening to the radio.
  • When he goes off for “jamming sessions” with his friends and performs onstage playing the ukulele in school talent shows (and emerges a winner!)

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[ Apologies for the blurry image – can I say I did that on purpose? ]

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  • When he seems to be hungry for food all the time.
  • When we have to change his shampoo from the kiddie type to the regular kind.
  • When he expresses his “genuine concern” on financial matters.

Why do kids grow up so FAST?

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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