Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The rooster beckons

Hope everyone had a good CNY break! For us, Chinese New Year is the time where we visit relatives that we see only once a year.

Sometimes, this is bittersweet, especially when visiting the elderly. One of my aunts is suffering from dementia and can no longer recognise us. Over the years, the number of relatives to visit has slowly diminished, as some of them pass on. A grim reminder to not take our loved ones for granted.

Nevertheless, CNY is a time for much celebration - of family, most of all.

Kids continuing the tradition of serving tea to their elders.
Extended family
And of course, food! This year, since Andre has extended holidays, he learned how to make a few traditional CNY dishes from his grandma, including ngoh hiong. I dream of the day when he can cook us a meal!

We had a delectable feast, as always.

From our family to yours, have a very happy and fruitful Year of the Rooster! 🐓🐓

Sunday, January 15, 2017

'O' level results and other milestones

Last Wednesday was the release of the 'O' level results. It shouldn't have been nerve-wrecking for Andre, since he'd already been accepted for early admission to the polytechnic course of his choice. All he needed to do was earn 26 points for his L1R4, which shouldn't have been a problem.

Yet, on Tuesday, he was a bundle of nerves. He moped around the house, mournfully singing Les Miserables' "One Day More", and repeatedly asked, "What if I don't make the minimum cut-off?" until I started having doubts myself. I began to wonder what rubbish he'd written during the exams to warrant this level of fretting. This is a boy whose self-assessment of how he'd done in exams holds a spotty record, to say the least. There had been times when he's come home to say the exam was "easy" only to be confronted later by a failing grade. This would inevitably lead me to shriek, "I thought you said it was easy! What happened?", to which he would look baffled and say "I don't know!"

He forbade me from going to school with him and said he would text me the results. So I waited anxiously and every time the phone beeped, I jumped. After a heart-pounded wait, I received a text from him. 11 points!!

This was a way better result than any of us could have hoped for and we were ecstatic. To put Andre's results in context, during his four years of secondary school, there have been exams where he had failed more subjects than he'd passed. In sec3, I wasn't sure he was even going to be promoted to the next level. We were particularly surprised by his B3 grade for A. Math, since he'd consistently flunked this subject in school. He had aimed for 16 points for the 'O' levels but surpassed that by a mile. The early admission turned out to be quite unnecessary after all. With this score, he can almost have his pick of courses at the polytechnic. What a wonderful boost to his confidence.

That's a nice close to Andre's secondary school journey and the last bit has been an especially eventful one. I'd shared in an earlier post how his school awarded him the Outstanding Leadership Award for his contributions in badminton, and how his teachers wrote him glowing testimonials. As it turned out, the school also chose him for another school award: Most Valuable Player...

as well as the Eagles Award (under Edusave), for leadership, service and achievements in CCA. The award ceremony was held yesterday.

I've always believed that God takes extra care to look after the sparrows and that's Andre - one big sparrow. As a student, he might not be considered the most "accomplished" in the traditional academic sense, but I've come to realise that he has made his mark in his own funny and affable way, and always on his own terms. My sparrow is all grown up and I'm so very proud of him. 💖

Prom night

Monday, January 9, 2017

Hong Kong revisited

Happy New Year! Bucking the trend, we were on holiday last week, during the first week of January, instead of December. We were in Hong Kong for an eat-sleep break - a great way to recharge before starting 2017!

Will write a few posts on my Travel Blog on where we ate and stayed. The first post is already up, so if you're looking for foodie ideas for Hong Kong, do check it out!

Meanwhile, here are just a few sneak peaks of food shots to tempt your tastebuds 😋


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