Monday, December 26, 2011

'Tis The Season

It's been a very busy but fun week. I had tons to do - organize a Christmas party, plan for the church caroling, practice with the church musicians for our Christmas Service as well as rehearse with the children for our annual Christmas presentation in church on Christmas  Day besides baking cookies, shopping for gifts and wrapping them, sending my daughter for her ballet practices and performances... and the list goes on and on...

Sometimes I wish I didn't have so much to do before Christmas Day, that I could just have a relaxing week but I suppose Christmas would then become like any other ordinary day. It's all the planning and excitement that leads up to December 25th that makes Christmas Day that special time of the year. Seeing the joy on the faces of people whom we give gifts to, spending time with family over a home-cooked dinner and receiving gifts knowing that people took the effort to handpick gifts just for me...makes everything worthwhile.

While all the gift-giving and merry-making is good, we can easily lose sight of the true meaning of Christmas...that God gave the BEST gift of all to mankind -  the gift of His only Son as Saviour to a world in darkness. So, Happy Birthday Jesus! 

My brother-in-law posted this cute video in Facebook and it reminded me of all the cookies I baked for Christmas (and ate), so I thought I would share it here...see if you find yourself cheering for Ormie...and gasp at the last scene. I sure did :)

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Cats Stinking Up My Garden

My first ever post on this blog 3 years ago was about a pesky cat using my garden as its personal toilet. Back then I didn't think that 3 years later I would be posting about the same topic...only it's a different cat this time.

Every morning for the past 4 weeks a neighbourhood cat has deposited cat poo on my nice carpet grass, and always at the exact same spot. 

Sprinkling lime juice all over the grass had worked in the past but not any more, so I tried scattering pepper powder instead...

My neighbours thought it was crazy of me to make them sneeze whenever they stepped out of their house...but it kept the cat away for a few days...until it got immune to the pungent smell.

Then I tried spraying the grass with citrus scented air refreshener, because I read on the internet that cats don't like citrus smell...

It worked for a few days. Then that pesky cat brought a feline friend along and I had to clear TWO piles of poo each day...aaargh!!

That was the last straw, so hubby bought wire mesh to lay on the grass since cat paws are sensitive...

So currently, this is how my garden looks like...not very pretty, but so far so good. No sign of the cats for a few days now. I hope this will keep them away for good and my poo-scooping days will be over...because I'm a nice person and I really do not want to hurt those cats but if they keep coming back there's no telling what I might do to them....

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Last Day of Secondary School

December 8th was the last day of SPM for CoolTeen and when I sent him to school that morning his school shirt was nice and clean, but when I went to fetch him later this was what I saw...

His friends had autographed his shirt
using marker pens!
This marks the end of his secondary schooling and he has decided not to study Form 6 but go to college instead. Yesterday we brought him to the Facon Education Fair at PWTC. There is so much choice of colleges and universities nowadays compared to the time when I completed my Form 5. No wonder the teenagers nowadays get confused...every university seems to try to outdo the other with the programs and facilities they offer as well as the fees they charge.

This next step in our son's life is going to cause a big hole in our the realm of 5 digits, so thankfully he's not too keen on going overseas to study!

Some of the brochures we brought back from 
the education fair.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

25 More Days To Christmas!

The countdown to Christmas has begun and the pretty Christmas displays (which I love) are up at the shopping malls in the city. 

This year hubby and I have decided not to put up our 5-foot Christmas tree but for a change we would decorate our home with mini trees and figurines. We told our kids that their presents must fit under the little trees and they took one look at the trees and went, "Yeah, right!" with just the right amount of sarcasm and scepticism in their voices.

2 little Christmas trees and one snowman
on a side table next to the TV

A mini tree on each side of  the salt lamp

Our first Christmas wreath on the front door.
The Shalom (which means 'peace') plaque 

underneath was a gift from my sis-in-law 
many  years ago and I love 
how perfectly all the colours match.

We were shopping at Berjaya Times Square yesterday
when a group of Santas walked past.
It turned out that they were part of a larger group of Santas
who put up a dance performance a few minutes later.
These few weeks will be a fun time of shopping and picking out gifts for family and friends. 

This year the youths in our church have embarked on a project to collect a Christmas wish-list from the children in an orphanage and grant their wishes. It's quite humbling when I saw the things that the children asked for...simple necessities like clothes, and perhaps a Ben 10 or Angry Bird watch. Not a single child asked for toys or expensive items.

Let's do our part in showing kindness and doing good in this season of goodwill and joy. 

Peace on earth and goodwill to all mankind. Amen.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Brain, Hand and Foot

A friend posted this picture in Facebook and when I showed it to CoolTeen, he said he could identify with what it says because he said he had 'brain-freeze' when he sat for his Bahasa Malaysia exam the other day.

There's also a fun fact that I learned about the human brain, try this for yourself and see whether you can outsmart your foot:

1. While sitting at your desk in front of your computer, lift your right foot off the floor and make clockwise circles with it.

2. Now, while doing this, draw the number 6 in the air using your right hand. 

Your foot will automatically change direction!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Fan of Gardenia Chocolate Twiggies

My son, CoolTeen, has never liked sweet food. When he was a baby he would refuse to drink his milk to the point where I would keep changing milk powder brands until I found one that he would drink  without making a big fuss...all because baby formula tastes sweet. At that time I didn't know why he would always try to push away his milk bottle whenever I tried to feed him, unless he was very hungry of course. It was only when he was a little older that I realised he liked savoury food and had a great dislike for anything sweet - jelly, cakes, candy, ice cream....all except chocolates and chocolate flavoured food or drink.

When he was in Year 1 in primary school, his breakfast would consist of a Gardenia Twiggies chocolate sponge bar and a cup of Milo. Now he is 17 and nothing much has changed -  his breakfast still consists of a Gardenia Twiggies bar and a cup of Milo but now I add 2 half-boiled eggs as well so that he wouldn't get hungry too soon before lunch time.

We were chatting during lunch yesterday and somehow the topic went to Gardenia Twiggies. CoolTeen said that he must have eaten thousands of them over the years, so we did a quick calculation. 

He only eats them during weekdays. On the weekends we would sometimes go out for breakfast at the mamak shop nearby and he would have roti canai. My maths is not too good so I might have gone about it the long way, but this is what we figured out:

There are 52 weeks in a year, minus 11 weeks of term school holidays = 41 weeks

There are 205 weekdays in 41 weeks. Multiply that by the number of years he has been schooling : 205 X 11 years = 2255

My son has eaten approximately 2255 pieces of Gardenia Twiggies in his lifetime! (on some public holidays he may have decided not to eat Twiggies, so this figure is just an estimate). I sure hope Gardenia Malaysia will not stop producing the chocolate Twiggies anytime soon!

Hmm...I wonder if he would qualify to be in the Malaysian Guinness Book of Records for this...?

Sunday, November 6, 2011


It says "Taukeh sudah gila! Cincai cincai jual!"

I saw this rather funny banner announcing a clearance sale at a shop selling lamps and lighting fixtures for the home- it's a mix of Malay and Chinese words. 
Although I understand the meaning of it (as only a Malaysian could!), I am at a loss for words as to how to translate it into proper English.

Anyone has any ideas?

Monday, October 31, 2011

SweetTeen's Ballet Concert

SweetTeen's ballet school, Tippy Toes Dance & Art Academy, held their ballet concert on Saturday 29th October at the Theatre in Palace of The Golden Horses. 

She had been pretty excited about it for the past few months, going for practices and rehearsals 3 times a week. On Saturday morning she woke up early, telling me that she couldn't sleep well...probably because of the excitement.

Last week I took her to Sungei Wang to buy false eyelashes for her and her ballet classmates. There's this stall at the 2nd floor that sells them at between RM10 - RM30 for a box of 10 pairs.

She also needed white hairclips for the headpiece that she would be wearing, and since white hairclips are difficult to find, we bought black hairclips and SweetTeen used the liquid correction pen to turn them white!

On the day of  the concert she had to be at the hall by 11.30am for make-up and final rehearsal. I only put foundation, face powder, a little blusher and lipgloss on her face but by the time I reached the Palace of The Golden Horses at 7.20pm I couldn't recognise my own daughter even though she was standing right in front of me! She had been transformed by dramatic stage make up: loads of blue eyeshadow, blusher, lipstick and of course, those very long false eyelashes!

SweetTeen with those dramatic long lashes
Grandpa, grandma, auntie and CoolTeen came along for the concert. I think everyone enjoyed themselves watching the ballet except CoolTeen, who had an eyeful with these scantily-clad ladies...


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Being Thankful

I check my email inbox everyday and once in a while I am pleasantly surprised by the funny jokes and inspirational stories that my friends send me.

I found this in my inbox one day and finding it very encouraging I thought I would share it here:

Be Thankful

Be thankful that you don't already have everything you desire. If you did, what would there be to look forward to?

Be thankful when you don't know something, for it gives you the opportunity to learn.

Be thankful for the difficult times. During those times you grow.

Be thankful for your limitations, because they give you opportunities for improvement.

Be thankful for each new challenge, because it will build your strength and character.

Be thankful for your mistakes. They will teach you valuable lessons.

Be thankful when you're tired and weary, because it means you've made a difference.

It's easy to be thankful for the good things. A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are also thankful for the setbacks. Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive. Find a way to be thankful for your troubles, and they can become your blessings.

Oh...there's also one thing which I am thankful for since I am a BIG fan of Angry Birds...something which I bought in Sungei Wang today while shopping with hubby and SweetTeen:

There is so much choice of phone casing for the iPhone
and nothing for the Samsung Galaxy Ace,
until I found this today (big grin)!
As much as I treasured my little Sony Ericsson Experia X10 mini, age is catching up and my eyes were straining to read the words on the tiny screen, so I had to part with it and get myself a phone with a bigger screen and bigger fonts...sigh!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Rather Eventful Week

Last Saturday my kids went to visit the floating bookstore, Logos Hope, at Port Klang with the youngsters from our church. I didn't go along because it was an outing for the youths, and sad to admit, I do not qualify as a youth any more.

SweetTeen got herself a bracelet and found a cookbook for me to add to my collection of cookbooks :)

My treasured collection of cookbooks and recipes
One evening a few days later, hubby and I were downstairs when we were startled by a LOUD crashing sound. Both of us ran upstairs to find our kids looking quite shocked and standing very still. It seems that they were playfully pushing each other around when CoolTeen knocked into the display cabinet. Thank God for His protection, no one got hurt...not even a tiny little cut or scratch!

The glass piece on the door of the display cabinet had broken into large sharp pieces (should have fitted it with tempered glass instead) and it was quite a task cleaning up. Hubby had to place the large pieces between sheets of newspaper and shatter them with a hammer so that they could be wrapped in more newspaper and fit into the plastic garbage bag for disposal. The neighbours must be wondering what we were up to, smashing glass so late at night!

Large pieces of glass that fell from the cabinet door

Shattered pieces 
We didn't have many glass cabinets or glass tables in our home when the children were younger, but now that they are older we thought that it would be allright, but who knew....

Friday, October 14, 2011

Rainy Days, Laundry Blues

It had been rainy the whole of last week and the clothes that I washed on Monday still hadn't dried by Thursday. By then my laundry basket was almost bursting at the seams with dirty clothes (it's amazing how quickly it fills up!) but there was no more room to hang any newly washed clothes at my little wash area beside the kitchen.

So I took down all the half-dried clothes and transported them over to the living room and loaded up my washing machine with dirty clothes.

And this is the scene that greeted hubby when he came home from work one day...

Clothes draped all over the sofa and the fan turned on full blast!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Light Sleeper Heavy Sleeper

I find it quite fascinating that my 2 children are so opposite in their character, habits and preferences.

SweetTeen is a very light sleeper (like her mom) and every little sound during the night would wake her from her sleep. For the past 2 nights, clicking sounds from the ceiling fan in her bedroom have been keeping her awake. So it's dad the handyman to the rescue, and after a bit of cleaning the fan is now silent once again, much to SweetTeen's relief.

CoolTeen, on the other hand, would be dead to the world once he falls asleep. Whenever the house alarm goes off in the middle of the night triggered by lizards in the attic, he would be the only one sleeping through all the noise. 

So when a friend posted this video on Facebook, it seems like a very familiar scene in CoolTeen's room in the mornings, especially the part where he tugs at the blanket to cover his head. I have always been the only one in the family who can wake him up (usually with a few smacks on the rear) and I wonder how he will manage to wake up in time for his classes when he goes away to university in the not-too-distant future....

The older generation thought nothing of getting up at five every morning, and the younger generation doesn't think much of it either - John J. Welsh

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Sara Frankl aka Gitzen Girl

I have been thinking for the past few days of what to write as a tribute to someone who, for the past year that I have been following her blog, has been such an inspiration and encouragement to me in my Christian faith. I stumbled upon her blog by chance when I was reading some articles at (in)courage, a page where women share their stories of faith to encourage one another.

This person, Sara Frankl a.k.a Gitzen Girl (see the big orange button in the sidebar on the right of my blog? That's the link to her blog), passed away on Saturday night after many years of living with a painful progressive degenerative illness. She had to give up a job that she loved, and because of very severe allergies she could not venture out from her home or even open a window, and those who visited her had to be in the pink of health because even the slightest germ or virus was life-threatening to Sara.

Being confined to her little apartment with just a cute little dog for company, she started a blog and reached out to many people around the world through her computer, allowing herself to be used by God to love, encourage and lift up others instead of wallowing in self-pity. Her motto was simple yet powerful:

She had this wonderful gift of words and a wisdom far beyond her years, and as she shared her life story through her blog, many times I felt as if God spoke to me through her. I'd like to share something that she wrote 2 months back:

Life is meant to be shared. The good, the bad and the ugly... which I think is really just the good and the beautiful to Him, you know. Things are hard for us, bad for us, ugly to us, but to Him it’s all just the pattern of life that brings us closer to Him. And there is beauty in that.
The good, the bad and the ugly... God can see ahead to the beauty that comes from the ugly. He's knows the beauty in the ugly pain that we can’t yet see. Our perspective shifts when we trust that He will bring beauty from our pain. That He will carry us as we carry our burdens.
And we can be Christ to each other as we help each other carry those burdens.

When Sara was too ill to update her blog, one of her friends did it on her behalf and that was when we were all informed about her passing. I read with a heavy heart, yet at the same time I was glad that Sara had gone home to heaven and is now able to dance and sing like she used from pain. Hundreds of people came for the funeral. Thousands more couldn't because of distance. That shows how much her life has made a difference.

Thank you, Sara. Yes, I too will CHOOSE JOY.

Here's a newspaper article about her and if you would like, go to her blog and read through what she has written. I'm sure you too will be encouraged and blessed.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Things Seen Around The House

Every home has a story to tell. The way it is decorated and the things lying around the house reveal the personality and characteristics of the people who live there. A home with toddlers would have toys strewn all over the floor, as was the case in my home when my children were little. I would always have to step very carefully around the living room in case I knocked down some carefully stacked  Lego bricks or stepped on a little toy car.

A neat and tidy home might mean that the kids have grown up and moved the mess into their is the case at the present moment in my  home. I can't stand the mess in their rooms and am always reminding them to tidy up, but sometimes a mom just needs to 'close one eye' and let them live in the mess they create...or... when they've gone to school, just throw away junk and find space in their cupboard to keep everything out of sight, and wait for the: "MOM!! Where are my stuff??!!" the moment they come home from school and discover what I had done (muahahaha).

Over the last few days I noticed some things around the house that seem to have a story of its own to tell:

The step-pedal on our dustbin is no longer functioning... 
So hubby attached a string to the lid of the dustbin
and secures the string to the wall.
Now we only need to pull the string to open the dustbin lid.

CoolTeen drumming facts into his head.
This is something I can't quite understand but is a typical teen trait...
how he insists that loud music helps him study better.

SweetTeen and her choice of location to air her ballet slippers
before storing them in the shoe cupboard...
in the living room just as you step in the front door (sigh).
I found this interesting quote on the internet about family:
"The family. We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another's desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together - Erma Bombeck"

Friday, September 16, 2011

To Blog Or Not To Blog

Seems like quite a number of people on my blog list has updated their blogs this week except me. I was having problems viewing my blog last week and had to upgrade to Google Chrome, so all is well now and I have no more excuses not to update.

I notice that with so many available social networking sites nowadays, it's getting harder to think of things to post on my blog. Let's say I left my cake in the oven for too long and it got burnt, I could just grab my phone and post on Facebook:

Burnt my cake! Forgot to watch the clock 

...and to show how I feel I would add :(

And I could also take a photo of the cake with my phone and upload it immediately...and all my friends would know what had happened in just a few minutes after I have removed my blackened cake from the!

That would be so much easier than sitting down to type a new post in my blog, checking my grammar and punctuation, and then having to upload photos from my phone to the PC and from my PC to the blog.

Despite all this, the satisfaction of creating a well-written blog post complete with pretty pictures is...great. Sometimes I'm just amazed at the number of people dropping by my blog each day.

So while I use social networking websites, I will still discipline myself to update my blog at least once a week (yes, for me it does take discipline to sit down and type because as all moms would agree, there's so many other things to do daily). As I share bits and pieces of my life here I hope that I have brightened your day somewhat :)

Monday, September 5, 2011

CoolTeen's New Best Friend

My son, CoolTeen is always complaining about being bitten by mosquitoes. It's strange how we could all be watching TV together in our living room and he would be the only one bitten by mosquitoes, while the rest of us would not even notice that there were any mosquitoes around.

A few days ago, I was at shop selling electrical appliances when I saw this gadget...and bought it:

A rechargeable electronic mosquito bat
(that's what it says on the packaging)
Since bringing it home, CoolTeen keeps it by his side to zap annoying mosquitoes that keep buzzing around him. He's quite pleased that it's very effective and was describing to me how he has been 'toasting' mosquitoes in the last few days and even making one explode...ewww!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Too Pretty To Eat

It's been a week of baking fun. Made a batch of mooncakes and they turned out pretty well this time compared to the ones I made last year...forgot to take photos of them before giving them away to my parents-in-law and relatives, though.

Hubby's colleague also gave these pretty little biscuits...can't imagine how she finds time to bake so many types of cookies, being a working mom with 3 young children!

The outside of the package

And the inside...yummy!

On that very same day before hubby came back with that box of lovely Raya cookies, I had decided to try out something I had seen on the internet...cupcakes wrapped with fondant to resemble little flower pots, and then topped with butter icing 'grass' and little fondant flowers.

my little 'flower pots'

'flower pots' complete with 'grass' and 'flowers'

Couldn't resist taking close-up photos of them since I had spent so much time moulding the fondant and turning my fingers into various colours because of the food colouring I used...

The last colour I used was pink, for the flowers. It will take 1 or 2 days before my fingers look normal again.