Saturday, December 31, 2011


31 December 2011, New Year's Eve

Dearest Lesley-Anne

Often, I marvel at how I managed to have a daughter like you. I thank God for your selflessness, how you're always putting others ahead of you. Sometimes I worry it will allow others to take advantage of you but I have to trust that God will bless you with the accompanying wisdom to discern good from bad, and continue to guide your path.

You're mature beyond your years, thoughtful and bright, tempered with a dollop of level-headedness. I'm constantly amazed by your discipline, sensitivity, and most of all, your godliness. At the same time, your feistiness (I know I often call it pig-headedness) keeps you from being bland.

My wish for you this New Year is that you will delight in new experiences, not to be afraid to try something different, even if you risk making a fool of yourself. I know the world seems like a scary place and people can be mean, but choosing what is safe because it's familiar is no way to live your life.

I pray that you will let go of your defence mechanism, move out of your comfort zone and open up more to others. Expect more of yourself - you'll be surprised at what you can achieve. It's not about getting to know yourself better because who you are is not carved in stone. You are a work in progress and it is only by embracing life and whatever is thrown at you, that you will grow in depth as a human being.

You are an incredible young lady and I'm truly grateful to have a daughter like you.




Dearest Andre

Where do I begin? You are such a (big) bundle of joy. I thank God for your spontaneity, your big heart and your eagerness to please. I live for all your hugs and kisses, given with such unadulterated affection.

Sometimes I worry about your innocence, how you're so unaware of the ways of the world and how you wear your heart on your sleeve. But I know it's this quality that makes you so genuine and lovable, and it's what draws people to you. I wouldn't trade it for the world. You keep me young because you keep me laughing! Without even trying.

For 2012, I wish for you patience - something we will both need in the PSLE year. I know that for someone who's always living for the moment, it will be an incredibly difficult lesson for you - to work towards a goal that seems so far away, and a reward that beckons only with hope, not promises.

But I pray that in this process, you will learn that diligence builds character (ugh, I know, I sound like the father in Calvin & Hobbes) and that you will come to understand it's the journey, not the end result, that will enrich your life.

May your generous spirit never diminish. When people around you judge you or try to make you feel less of a person, I hope you will always be secure in the knowledge that you are a champ in every sense of the word.

You are a blessing to many and I thank God that you have been entrusted to me.



Sunday, December 25, 2011

'Tis the season to be jolly

We've lived in our new home for about a month now (after discounting the 2 weeks we were away in NZ) and it's only about now that I finally feel this is home.

It may sound strange but for the first couple of weeks, a part of me felt like I was living in a show flat. I would get very flustered when I saw newspapers carelessly strewn on the coffee table or half eaten bags of potato chips lying around. This is extremely uncharacteristic behaviour as I am a slob at heart. Tidying up, to me, is as fun as having a root canal. So it was very disconcerting indeed.

Thankfully, I'm back to my normal, messy self now. This house, however, is turning our entire family into couch potatoes. We've never had cable before (I know, we're stone age) and since my mother-in-law watches Korean dramas, we subscribed to Starhub.

My conclusion is that cable is EVIIIIL. Why? Cos now, no matter whether it's 10 o'clock in the morning or 4.30 in the afternoon, there's always something interesting on. Either Nigella is cooking up something decadently delicious or the folks at CSI are wading through the mandatory 100 red herrings to solve yet another murder, neatly within 50 minutes. Whatever. It's incredibly addictive.

These photos show only Andre but truthfully, all of us spend an extended amount of time in front of the telly.

It's official - I live in the house of sloth. I'm praying that we will OD on food and forensics soon so we can get them out of our systems and get on with our lives.

But after the hustle and bustle in the last quarter of the year, it's kinda nice to just zone out. It's also the first Christmas in our new home and I've found that playing the Glee Christmas album while doing absolutely nothing makes me happy. (It's a very campy album but infectiously jolly).

We've only a few more days to the end of 2011 and we've been celebrating the season with family and friends. Family, friends, food and gifts - all enveloped in the warmth of love and home. There really isn't anything more one can wish for. Looking back at the momentous year we've had, I can only say I'm unspeakable grateful for the journey God has led us on and His tremendous, unbridled blessings.

Blessed Christmas to all of you, my dear friends.

"One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day. Don't clean it up too quickly." ~Andy Rooney

Monday, December 19, 2011

Andre's belated birthday sleepover

Andre's birthday is in October and he wanted another sleepover like he did last year. However, since we were in the midst of moving house and a million other things, I told him he could have his party belated, after we'd returned from NZ.

So last Wed, a few of his friends came over for the first (and maybe last?) sleepover in our new home.

I really didn't have the time or energy to plan anything elaborate so I left them pretty much to their own devices. Pre-teen boys are actually reasonably easy to please. Eg, just plonk them in front of the tv and screen an action movie (Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull).

In case you're wondering, the pile of snacks was not provided by me, it was brought by a chip-o-holic boy whose mum generously catered enough for the whole group.

Of course, there's the computer. You can't pry boys away from pc games with a crowbar.

From experience, when you coop hyperactive boys indoors for too long, they start to go a little manic, so we brought them to the pool.

Not much swimming occurred, it was more a water brawl.

Dinner was simple fare al fresco - spaghetti and fried chicken wings. When I took this picture, one of the boys called out in alarm, "no, no, must delete the picture!" When I asked why, he replied, "If not, my mother will see that I ate too many chicken wings." LOL!

Cake time! My little boy is now 11 (well, for 2 months now).

I sent the boys to bed at 11pm, thinking that the chatting will continue for another hour. However, by midnight, we were still hearing laughter and loud thuds, prompting a tired Kenneth to ask me, "what on earth are they doing??"

We found out the next morning that at midnight, they decided it would be a good idea to stage a WWE match. Go figure! They finally fell asleep only at 1am but that didn't stop them from jumping up at the crack of dawn to play more computer games.

Kenneth was hoping to get a shot of them asleep but no chance. This was the scene that greeted him at 7am.

After breakfast, the boys made the most of the remaining time by having a game of table tennis and yet another dip in the pool.

You know the party was a success when the boys complain that their parents came to fetch them too soon.

I know it's very belated but I hope you had a very Happy Birthday, my dear kumara chip!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Aotearoa the Beautiful

I am back!!!! And exhausted. And have a million emails to reply to, clients to reconnect with, and of course, preparations for Christmas.

It's always a bummer to come home from holidays. Especially this one because we really enjoyed ourselves to the fullest. This holiday to New Zealand (Aotearoa is the Maori name) truly was an over-achiever - busted all expectations. I don't foresee being able to top this one, at least not for a long time.

So this short post is just to say I haven't forgotten about you, my dear readers, but I probably won't be posting here much for the next couple of weeks. Instead, I'll finishing up my holiday posts on the Travel Bug.

If you haven't been following my journey there, please do! NZ is a terrific destination for a family holiday, I whole-heartedly recommend it to anyone.

Meanwhile, here are a few snapshots of the stunning country that is NZ.

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