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Friday, November 30, 2007

Preparation for Ethaniel's Birthday Party Tomorrow

Everybody is chipping in and doing their part to get Ethaniel's birthday party going.

Joel is wrapping presents

Ethaniel is blowing the balloons

Joel preparing the party packs

Have you heard about the game, "pinning the donkey's tail"? Well, this is another version called, "pinning the wheels on the car" - Joel's idea.

Ivan's part is to bring back some Hotwheel cars as prizes and party packs. AND pay for everything!!!

Lookout for more updates on his birthday party.. Not tomorrow, I have heaps of things to do and cook.... Maybe Sunday.


Thursday, November 29, 2007

Friends Who Replied To My Email With Update

I sent an email to friends and families about my blog. I also asked for updates from them and following are the people who have replied with beautiful pictures.

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Taka & Nus who are currently in Kyoto, Japan. They are our "travelling buddies". He is undergoing training and will be returning to Bangkok early next year.






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Ida's 7 years old daughter. She is absolutely cute, cute, cute! Ida is a brilliant mother and teacher. She used to give classes to some of the homeschoolers whilst we were in Malaysia. They reside in Malaysia



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When we first arrived in Bangkok, Pop and Nathan were our first few friends. They gave us lifts from care group, sat at the same table during lunch, spoke very good English for a Thai, made us feel warm and she is absolutely beautiful! Both of them have returned to the US to stay since early this year.


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Ps Isaac and Mapring. Ps Isaac is the lay pastor at our previous church. They are such down-to-earth people that have made us feel at home when we initially arrived in Bangkok. They have been a real blessing to us and help. They are currently on holiday in the US - Pastor Isaac's hometown.


Travelling Buddies or Enemies - Part II

I blogged on the above subject yesterday and this is the continuation.

Kam Yuk's son contacted my Dad in Malaysia, he in return contacted us in Bangkok. He was persistent in asking us to help. We wish we could but there was no way. Suddenly, Mom had an idea (bulb!). She recalled that Ah Kam had a list of hotels with her and asked them to call each one to inquire. That was the only thing we could do.

That evening, Ah Kam called up. The children managed to get them and Kam Yuk returned to Malaysia. Unfortunately, that leaves Ah Kam all by herself. She recruited Mom to join her... Hmm... Mom was in a dilemma. She wanted to think about it before making a decision. After some deliberation, she decided against it.

This morning, Ah Kam called up, crying in the phone. She complained that she is so lonely, afraid to go sightseeing by herself, cannot watch TV (all in Thai), cannot talk to anyone (nobody understands her), cannot sleep (too lonely) .... We tried to comfort her and explained to her that its pretty safe to travel around Bangkok. She insisted that Mom travels 1.5 hrs each way, just to accompany her sightseeing!

After talking to us, she felt better. I think she just needed to get all those frustrations out of her chest. According to Mom, she is an extreme extrovert. She CANNOT live without talking. Well, that explains, she almost "died" from lack of human contact and I am not exaggerating.

The good news is, Mom called her hotel in the afternoon and she was out! Go girl!!




Mother's Cooking is the Best - I am not biased ;-)

They say Mother's cooking is the best. Is it true? For me it is... For my sons, Joel and Ethaniel too.

As you know, Mom arrived in Bangkok two days ago. One of the ways which she shows her love to us, her children is by cooking. She has cooked our favorite dishes since she came.

Yesterday, we had Nasi Lemak (coconut rice, peanut, anchovies, cucumber and sambal) and today, Ginger wine chicken. That one is an all time favorite of my siblings and my children. Burp! That was good. I will update you with more yummy food preparations later....


Joel & Ethaniel's haircut



Joel and Ethaniel's hair was getting too long. I used to cut their hair but have decided to get a break. So, for two consecutive times, I have taken them to the saloon. There are a few along the King Kaew road.

Its very cheap. Just B40 (RM4) per person.

Songkran Holidays to Trang - April 2007


We took this trip with our "Travelling Buddies" i.e. P'Koong (Thai), Chor (Thai), Taka (Japanese), Nus (Thai), Sean (Malaysian) and Noot (Thai). This would be our 2nd trip together. Just for this trip, there was an additional Japanese student. Ethaniel has an additional friend ;-)

The chemistry of our group is extremely wonderful. Ivan and I are the only couple who has children. Taka and Nus are newlyweds. The rest are singles. We are very easygoing with each other. Everyone just goes with the flow, no complains but heaps of laughter and fun. Joel & Ethaniel enjoys the company of the group tremendously and vice versa. They truly love my children and I can see it in the way they treat them, with sincere affection. So, here goes another totally enjoyable trip!

12 April 2007, Thursday

Took almost 10 hours overnight journey in a van from Bangkok to Trang. We all slept in the van. Joel and Ethaniel slept like a baby.

13 April 2007, Friday

Tham Le Khao Kob Cave
We arrived in Trang and went to Noy's factory to meet up. She took us to Tham Le Khao Kob Cave. It was a real experience! There was a passage which we have to cross with a sampan. An overweight person with a belly will be badly scraped! Incidentally, if you are claustrophobic, it would be a traumatic experience. We were easily in a horizontal position for 5 mins.


After leaving the cave, we proceeded to lunch and then to the waterfall.

There are two things which made this waterfall so memorable:

Dream come true
I have always wanted to go to the source of a waterfall and not just downstream. That day, I managed to do that! Taka, Joel and I trekked up to the waterfall. It was a beautiful and breathtaking sight. It was like a dream come true! Difficult to express the emotions of gratefulness to God for the wonders of His creation.

Tragedy
Two days later, we discovered through friends who called up and the newspaper that there was a flash flood which happened at the exact waterfall and many were killed. We felt that our lives were spared! Actually when we left that evening, it was already drizzling.



That night we had dinner at Noy's friend's restaurant. The food was delicious and the night ended perfectly with a 2 hours massage at a local hotel.

That night we spent a night in Noy's house, our host. It was an amazing home. They designed it and built it themselves. Its very unique. Checkout the photos at my online album - Noy's House. Ivan and I loved the teakwood concept. It was absolutely stunning!


Khun Noy

14 April 2007, Saturday

We had breakfast hosted by Noy. Our intention was to go to Koh Muk Island but because the boat was delayed, we detoured and visited a land belonging to Noy. It was presently rented to a group of people rearing "Fighting Fish". The fishes here are World Champion.

Ethaniel & Joel trying to catch the fishes

Fighting fishes are reared in the containers

They also train the chickens fight


The Champions and selected ones are separated

This is a special location for the fishes to be reared because there are mountain springs that provides natural mineral water. This strengthens the fishes in a very different way.
Hawk
After that, we went for lunch, hosted by Noy again. I had the largest and juiciest oyster I have ever eaten! It was huge! When its in my mouth, my cheeks are puffed up. Now my craving is satisfied. I had 3 of them... Ooo.... that was satisfying..... Burp!

To Koh Muk Island

We went to 2 destinations before arriving Koh Muk Island i.e. Koh Chuak Island, Emerald Sea Cave. To get to Emerald Sea Cave, we had to make a human chain to swim into the cave. It was high tide. It was pretty exciting. There is no picture here because we were not able to bring the camera in.


We arrived Koh Muk Island in the evening. The island was very quiet. Not too many tourist and that's good. We had a relaxing time. Doing nothing much really... eat, play football, Taboo, Pictionary and sleep.... That's what I call a holiday!


I have a video clip of a football game played by the adults and Ethaniel.





15 April 2007, Sunday

Still enjoying ourselves at Koh Muk Island

16 April 2007, Monday

We left to Amari Trang in the afternoon. Its was a beautiful 5 star resort. Very quiet too. There were hardly more than 10 people around the hotel. We loved the environment. Ivan, Joel, Ethaniel and I loved the place so much that we decided to extend our stay for another 2 nights. The rest of the gang will be leaving tomorrow with the van, so, we have to find alternative transport. Easiest alternative was to buy a bus ticket. We managed to get some seats, so, we are staying!! Hurray! For some pictures of Amari Trang Beach Resort & Spa visit Amari website.

Today was my birthday. We celebrated it at the Italian Restaurant at Amari Hotel. It was a very pleasant dinner. Ivan and the ladies bought a cake and we sang a birthday song. I was very happy to be able to spend my birthday with the people I love.


For more photos of our Trang trip, please visit my online album.


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Update to Friends - 25 July 2006

25 July 2006

The below update was made out to some friends and I thought that it would be good to keep it in this blog .....

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We arrived in Bangkok, Thailand on 16 April 2006, Sunday. It was Easter Sunday and my birthday. Of course all the goodbyes at the airport were depressing. Being my first time away from my parents and Malaysia for an indefinite time was exciting and terrifying at the same time.

We were scheduled to stay at the Royal Princess, Srinakarin Hotel for 5 days whilst waiting for our goods to arrive from Malaysia but somehow it turned out that we had to stay for 3 weeks due to some delay. The hotel was next door to one of the biggest shopping complex in South East Asia i.e. Seacon Square. You want anything? They have it. So, everyday we went to Seacon Square for meals and to entertain ourselves. There were internet cafes which I went to do my emails. It was about 20 Baht per hour, which was very cheap. Other places in the city cost between 30 to 80 Baht an hour.

After the 2nd week in the hotel, we were all restless…. Dying to move into our new home and for the children to settle to some homeschooling routine, unfortunately, we did not have any of our books with us. Through some miracle, we managed to clear our goods from customs, including some nasty SMS to the Movers (never employ TMS Movers ever again!!!). We bought brooms, brush, buckets and etc. to clean our new home with only the help of my 2 assistants (Joel and Ethaniel). Ethaniel (4+) was intently scrubbing the toilet and the floor skirting. I was impressed with his ability to concentrate on the task and finished it. We washed the downstairs and upstairs too. It was tiring but thank God for that 2 assistant because without them, it would be too great a task. Ivan was at work….

Church

We visited ECB, an interdenominational church. It was different from our church, Grace PJ. Especially the worship but other stuffs are OK. So, the following week, we visited The Hope of God, International Fellowship. Of course, the worship was very similar to Grace PJ and after service there is an International Buffet offered to church members for a discounted price of 90 Baht (normal 230 Baht). The people were very friendly and really made us feel at home. Eventhough Joel has only 2 friends in Sunday School (most members are single, newly weds and young children), he still loves the church. Ethaniel has more friends. One particular girl from Malaysia, Jie Wern is also 5 years old. She enjoys playing with Ethaniel as well. Our cell members adores Joel and Ethaniel and of course particularly Ethaniel, due to his friendly and mischievious ways. The adults love to disturb him and he in return ‘entertains’ them. Eventhough playful, Joel and Ethaniel behaves themselves most of the time during cell group and church, which makes them a favorite. Anyway, there are not many children around for them cuddle. So fortunately for Joel and Ethaniel, they often get a lot of attention.

The Pastor, Ps David Chen is a Chinese Thai who travels a lot. Whenever he travels, Ps Isaac Alamo (An English University Professor from US) will be the one preaching. He is a volunteer for the church. He has a great heart, full of humility, down to earth and has a great sense of humor. He is also our Cell Leader.

Last week, Sunday, the presence of God and anointing was so strong for all of the church members to repent. Pastor Isaac has a vision that God was hurt due to our unrepentant hearts and cold response towards him. The whole service was a session of repentance before God and crying out to God. People were kneeling, crying and yielding their hearts to God. It was an amazing service and I was personally touched by God too. The service ended without a sermon but people were definitely ministered to!

House

We stay 10 minutes from the new airport which is due to open in September 2006. About 45 mins from the city on Sunday. We are about 20 min from the supermarkets & shopping complexes e.g. Tesco. We are about 20 minutes from Bangna. Bangna has more expats than our area. Our “mooban” (gated community) is pretty quiet and nice. It has many small little canal/lake around. We cycle around the housing area during the evenings and there are not many cars around. The Summit Golf Club is in the midst of the housing area but we don’t play golf. There is also a community swimming pool. We met a little friend called Ryan (5 yrs old). His father is an American and his Mom is a Thai. Cute little boy. We visited him the other day at his home and he was so excited!!! He is a potential friend of Ethaniel. They are very cute together.

Cell Group

We are going to a Cell Group in the city which takes us almost an hour to get there. It is largely due to the rush hour traffic. We have a Lebanese, an Armenian, a French, 2 Americans, 3 Thais, an English lady, an Egyptian, 6 Malaysian (including my family), a New Zealander and a missionary Jewish couple (from Australia). Talking about global!!! We have been very encouraged and inspired by all of them but especially the Jewish couple. It was really exciting meeting a real Jew. Have never personally met one so close up!!! They are such faithful servants of God and absolutely wonderful and loving Christians. They are converting people to Christianity like I have never seen and known! Every week there are converts and it is absolutely true that the harvest is ripe, especially in Thailand.

Indeed sometimes Ivan and myself feels inferior when we hear what they are doing. But I know that God has His timing for us. But we have heard some very encouraging words and a Word of Knowledge prayed upon us by our Cell Members.

I have been serving in the area of worship leading and playing the guitar. Still not so good at playing the guitar but somehow through my willingness to serve, God has multiplied my talent and now I can play in timing. But need to practice!

Food

I cook majority of the time except on Sunday noon or when we go out during the weekends. I definitely still prefer the food that I cook eventhough there are some yummy Thai food out there. We cook all kind of food e.g. chicken curry, a variation of Asam Pedas, Mee Rebus, Tom Yam and etc. The children enjoys the food they eat at home eventhough every now and then they crave for MacDonald and Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Thank God that the children has been exposed to eating all kinds of food whilst in Malaysia. They can eat hot and spicy, Chinese, Western, Malay and Thai too. Ethaniel can eat hot too! But needs a cup of water beside, all the time!!

The fruits in Thailand is one of the most delicious I have tasted. It is cheap, fresh, sweet and absolutely juicy! Laici (huge), longan, pineapple, watermelon, mangostein, mangoes and etc.

Ivan’s Job (Mattel Bangkok Limited)

Ivan is currently managing 3 department (Painting, Die Cast, Process, I think). When he arrived in Bangkok he was assigned to something else and now he has been given more responsibility. He is enjoying himself immensely. He has always enjoyed engineering… and now its like coming back home. He goes to work on time and returns on time. Work is very busy but he does not have bad stress. The people at work are also nice. His boss is a Malaysian and they have known each other for a long time.

General

The children are slowly settling into homeschooling. There are few interruptions except for the occasional guests (My in laws are here for 2 weeks) and my cousin from US was here few weeks ago. So, we do our studies in peace. We don’t watch TV, no gameboys, no PS2 and etc. The children run around the house, cycles, plays catching, spiderman, combat, reads and etc. We went for foot massage the other day and the lady massaged Joel and Ethaniel’s feet for free and they really enjoyed themselves! So, they were busy giving foot massage to each other!

As for me, things are very busy due to homeschooling both Joel and Ethaniel, cooking, cleaning and etc. I try to catch up on reading… Calling Malaysia and anywhere in the world is ridiculously expensive. I am just waiting for my broadband internet to be installed. After that, I can skype or google for free. In this sense, I feel cut off from the world. In another sense, it gives me more time to do other things. I get to do some sewing too. For cleaning, I get some help from Joel who helps with vacuuming, mopping and washing the dishes. Occasionally Ethaniel will vacuum upstairs, take out the rubbish, hang the clothes and mop the staircase. It really depends on his moods and how persistent is Mommy.

I hope to be able to write more often now that my husband is convicted to purchase a laptop for me after our computer was damaged in shipment. I still have to wait for the broadband line to be sorted out….


Birthday present from Auntie Heather




Heather Suksem is an English lady who have stayed in Thailand for the last 26 years. We used to attend the same church and has become very good friends. She especially dotted on Joel and Ethaniel, with both attention and chocolates. She travels for work to Australia, Malaysia, England and various other countries I cannot recall.

She came over for dinner last night because she cannot make it for the birthday party on Saturday. She brought a birthday present for Ethaniel and a belated one for Joel.

These are some of the relationships we have made that has been like a family to us.

Auntie Heather Suksem
(background, They, her granddaughter)


Travelling Buddies or Enemies

My Mother wanted to visit me in Bangkok but was afraid to travel alone. I encouraged her to recruit some friends to travel together. After some time, she managed to recruit Ah Kam and Kam Yuk. Ah Kam is an old friend, whilst the other is a stranger (Ah Kam's friend).

This blog is about Kam Yuk...

Kam Yuk is a real character according to my Mother. A few days before leaving for Bangkok, she called Mom whilst she was out, so Dad took the call. She was extremely unhappy because she was not given the flight details (Dad helped to make the bookings via internet). She made a real racket! That was the beginning of the encounter.

Initially, they were to stay at my home but decided not to. Fine. Unfortunately, resulting in her refusal to stay, she also disallowed Mom to use her baggage space - 15 kg. Citing that she doesn't know Mom. Well, we were going to let her stay at my home! *rolling eyes*

She was adamant throughout check-in that Mom was not in any circumstances utilise her baggage providence (she had nothing to check-in) as a result, I didn't have my Kadus shampoo and black sauce "Hak see yau". She seems to profess to be a seasoned traveller. But her actions seem to contradict ...

As I was writing this blog, I received a skype call from my Dad in Malaysia. Apparently, Kam Yuk's son called up and delivered a bad news, Kam Yuk's husband passed away this morning. We could not contact her because yesterday, at the airport, she refused to let my Mom have her hotel contact or mobile number.

Indeed its a sad news.

Let's see, what is the moral of the whole story? Choose your travelling buddies properly, they might turn out to be enemies.




Mother arrived in Bangkok

My Mother arrived in Bangkok last night. Touch down was suppose to be 7.15pm but did not get a call for her till 9pm. Was already getting worried. Apparently, she waited for her friends to get confirmations on accommodations before she left them. Phew!

We spend the late part of the evening on updates and she unloaded all the Malaysian goodies. Yummy...
My new rice cooker, Buffalo Brand - stainless steel
Chocolate galore!
More chocolates and wafers!
Malaysian Maggie Mee Curry and Asam Laksa

I also have Malaysian sambal, anchovies, soya sauce, pre-packed asam pedas, tosai powder, Bah Kut Teh, Chinese herbs, etc. These are my Malaysian supplies. Usually we have char kueh teow and nasi lemak too but Mom couldn't carry too many things.


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Ethaniel's birthday yesterday

Yesterday was Ethaniel's birthday - 26 November 2007. He just turned 6 years old. We didn't do much because we were returning from Koh Chang. It took almost 5 hours to arrive home due to a dinner stop. We left Koh Chang at 2pm and arrived home about 7pm.

Anyway, we are having a birthday party for him this coming Saturday, 1 Dec 2007, 4pm. He insisted on having one. He even came up with his own guest list. Yes, that's my son, Ethaniel. He talked about his birthday for months!!! His list of presents too.

This morning, I gave him the present that Mary Rink passed to
me before they left for Australia. Ethaniel reminded her ;-) but didn't know that she actually left something for him. You should have seen the smile on Ethaniel's face! It was priceless! He was sooooo excited to open up the envelope with a card and B500 (RM50) inside. That's a lot of money for a 6 years old ;-)

Both Joel and Ethaniel are very excited that "Chia Chia" (means Grandmother in Hakka), my Mother is coming to visit us in Bangkok, arriving tonight. She has heaps of chocolates. Chocolates to them is like drugs to addicts ;-).

Card and B500 given by Laurie & Mary Rink




Thursday, November 15, 2007

"I can swim!"


"I can swim, Mom! I didn't know I can!" exclaimed Ethaniel. A sense of achievement oozing from his face, sparkles in his eyes (through his goggles) and deep sense of pride in his chest. It was a proud moment for him. His confidence and self-esteem boosted at this monumental occasion.

Ethaniel inherited the life jacket from Joel since he was a baby. Its actually a very good jacket, secure and safety assured. As long as he uses it, I was always assured that no unduly accident will occur. As a result of our constant encouragement to keep the jacket on, he has never taken the jacket off. He has used the life jacket numerous times when we swam in the sea and its definitely been a "faithful companion" to him.

Everytime we go swimming, he would kick and paddle but none of us actually know if he could swim or not. He was never brave enough to rid the life jacket. Partly due to my fault, I guess.

This evening, I encouraged him to take off the life jacket briefly and swim in the adult pool. He was too afraid but after a few minutes later, he summoned all the courage he could find and said "OK, I just try a little bit". Sure enough he did not sink! A miracle!!! My baby is swimming... I know, I know, he is already 6 years old... not a baby anymore (but not to me...).

For the next 45 mins he was swimming under the tight supervision of his older brother. I really admire the proactive and protectiveness of Joel. Even without my instruction, he automatically swam beside Ethaniel to ensure that no mishap occur. Later, they were playing, competing, swimming with each other and just had a great time.
video
Well, I guess that's part of the joy of a stay home Mom, not missing all the significant moments in our children's lives. For me, today was special, being part of his life and being there to celebrate all the victories and overcoming the difficulties, together.


Picnic at backyard


Winter has arrived in Bangkok. With cool breezy wind throughout the day.

Since we homeschool, just to get the monotony out of the day, the children and I decided to have a lunch picnic at the backyard. Joel and Ethaniel took out the camp beds, camp chair, picnic mat, MP4, cushions and UNO. We had lunch and just lazed around. I had a nap on the camp bed ;-). It was totally beautiful and the children just loved the novelty of the whole affair.

I must say, I do like it too. Something which is out of the question in Malaysia unless you want a sunburn :-/

Thank God for winter... in Bangkok. Hmm... let me enjoy it while I can....

Monday, November 12, 2007

Old but good... friends

It is common to hear people say "How time flies!" Is it true, does it really fly? Or does it snail by... I guess, when you are having a wonderful time then it flies but when the things we are doing is a drudgery then it goes by in sloooow moooootion.... Just like those times when I was in school. Holiday season seems to breeze by and school days seems to linger and linger and linger... We thought it was bad. Now we know better.

Those were the days of the innocence. Carefree, little responsibilities, get to hang out with friends and did some nonsense....

I still remember many of my friends from Church youth group and school. Eventhough I am not good with keeping in touch but I remember them every now and then. And all the good times we used to have.

After I left high school, I took up a temporary job before I went to college to study. After that, it was no stopping, my life was occupied with work and later marriage. I had my baby immediately after my wedding and have been busy for the past 12 years with family and work.

Of course, I made new friends, good ones too but I always remember my old friends from school days and church youth group. Somehow that stucked on...

I have some friends whom are still the same eventhough we have not met for donkey years... E.g. Suan Choo. I managed to catch up with her in Sept 06 when I returned to Malaysia for holiday. We chatted as if the 10 years that lapse between us, never happened. We took off, where we left. It was amazing! There were so many things we chatted and never seemed to have enough time... We went out twice that week. She didn't change much. Still pretty as ever. She has such a sweet smile and a youthful look with perfect fair silky skin. How I envy!

Suan Choo and I have been good friends since 16 years old. She is such an excellent listener and seldom judges me whenever I tell her things... even naughty things which I have done. So funny now that I look back!

How I treasure those moments.... The carefree days of my youth....

Thursday, November 8, 2007

My Maternal Grandmother

She was born in China, roundabout the year 1900. Child bride was a popular practice in those days, so, she was bethrothe at a very young age to a family of her parents. Her future Mother-in-law was very nice to her and treated her like a daughter. She was very much loved.

She eventually married and came to Malaysia. She had 11 children but 6 of them died. Four daughters and 1 son. My grandfather had a small grocery shop which helped to support the family. Grandmother helped by tapping rubber. There were very limited employment during those times.

One day, Grandfather was summoned by the Communist and he never returned. Grandmother was pregnant with Mom. Life was difficult, as poverty was prevalent.

As long as I can remember, we visited Grandmother in Mantin, Negeri Sembilan monthly. All 6 of us packed into the car for the weekend at Grandmother's house. My memories of her has always been seeing her 'wrinkled'. She must have been about 70 years old when I was born.

Grandmother is the sweetest, most gentle, best cook and amazing person in the whole wide world! During a time when I was in my late teens, hit with the bout of insecurities, she was there, loving me for who I am. I could be myself when I was with her.

I often like to clean Grandmother's home whenever we visited her. She was grateful and very complimenting. She told me once that I was such a great housekeeper and suggested that I take a job as a maid! It was so funny to me but the point was, she saw my potential ;-) I eventually became one. I got married, had two children and became a stay home Mom. She is a real prophetess.

She was such a great cook. One of the secret which makes her food taste mighty delicious was the use of wood and not gas. The home reared chicken at her backyard. The most tasty chicken I have ever eaten!!! I had a serious craving of those plain steamed chicken with a touch of salt rubbed all over its yellow skin, when I was pregnant with my 2nd child, Ethaniel. I had bad morning sickness for many months and as I was laying there, I was fantasizing the juicy meat of those chickens I ate at her dinner table. It was impossible to satisfy that craving because by then, Grandmother has already passed away for 6 years.

She was really special, my maternal Grandmother. She passed on when I was pregnant with my eldest son, Joel. That was 11 years ago. How time flies because I felt as if it was just yesterday....

Ethaniel's two front teeth (bottom) dropped!


Late September 2007, Ethaniel's two bottom teeth dropped. We didn't go to the dentist, he pulled it out himself.

I noticed for a month before it dropped, he was consistently 'shaking' his teeth whenever he was sitting down, watching TV, flipping through books, etc.

"Mom! Mom! Ethaniel can drink even with his teeth all clenched!" exclaimed Joel with a cheeky smile. "Huh? What do you mean?" I was puzzled. "See, he pokes a straw through the hole where the two bottom teeth has dropped!"

My baby is growing up!























My Eldest Brother is Married, At Last!

My eldest brother Michael is 42 years old this year. He has been in and out of relationships since he was about 15 years old, I think.

Many girls have come in and out of our family house... Every time we thought he was settling down, he seems to have moved on.

In late January 07, my sister returned to Malaysia for a holiday and I managed to join her too - to catch up and spend some time with her family and her.

I recalled that we gathered at the Mamak store to the wee hours of the morning chatting about Mike's latest "adventure". He indicated that he was starting a "new chapter" again... Of course, being the "kepoh" sisters we were... And having been married now for more than 10 years, we had some advice up our sleeves, just for him... We joked and laughed so much that I had tears in my eyes and had to hold my stomach. I have not laughed so much in years!

There were this latest "adventure" which he is pursuing. They met when he stopped by the roadside to help this young damsel in distress. That's how they started and it progressed very rapidly from there.


As of 1 April 2007, Mike is a married man. Yes, it was April Fool's Day. I am not sure, what statement he was trying to make... He "the fool" or she. But anyhow, he has left bachelorhood, Mom is happy and we are all very happy for him to have plunged in and taken the Adventure of a Lifetime. I should ask him to contribute to my blog and comment on his married life... We'll see if I succeed.


Oh yeah, one more thing, I forgot to mention that she is 26 years old... Yes, yes, my brother the "cradle snatcher".

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Death of a good friend

22 March 2007

On 24 March 2007, I received an SMS from a friend, Suan Choo. In the SMS, she mentioned that she saw our mutual friend's obituary in the newspaper. I was shocked and didn't know what to think. Memories flooded my mind....

I contacted my Father in Malaysia to confirm the obituary. Unfortunately, he could not confirm it. Somehow I managed to get the contact number of Auntie, Geevan's Mother. When I called her, she confirmed my fear... Later I called my sister in Australia to let her know the bad news. I sobbed for the loss of my dear friend....

You see, Geevan and I go back a long way...

I know his whole family and was very close to his youngest sister (Sham) and 2nd sister(Nush). We used to go to the same ISCA (Youth Group) at Church. Sham is a year younger than myself. We hanged out together, cycled to and fro school, had slumber party, stayed over and talked about boys .. hee hee. Nush is closer to my older sister, maybe because of age. But we were still close, nevertheless.

We stay very near each other's home, so, Geevan would come over very often and we used to talk a lot. I was probably about 15 years old then. He will tell me the girls he had a crush on and the gossips amongst the boys. He was very tall, over 6 feet and very good looking.

He often exaggerated most things, so, I will take everything with a pinch of salt. But will often give him advice, eventhough he was never interested in them. Whenever he told a whopper, I will roll my eyes, "that's Geevan". But there were no hard feelings... we were just teenagers... good friends and things were much simpler then.

Geevan was an extreme extrovert. He was always walking or cycling around the neighbourhood. Extremely friendly and talkative. He was just a normal outgoing guy. He has a particular illness which affected his speech, so, generally people had difficulty understanding him, but that never stopped Geevan from telling his stories. If not, he was even more determined. He had the patience to repeat each sentences 3-4 times because it would take that many times to properly understand him. Of course, I had a little more skill than others because I spend more time with him. But at times, I would run out of patience. A 5 mins story would inevitably turn into 15 mins.

In 2005, Sham came back to Malaysia for holiday. She is a hot model in Milan, Italy. But to me, she is just good old Sham. She stayed over at my home, we had a great time catching up, we had coffee with her cousin too and it was a hilarious and fun time!! I had not laughed so much in a very long time. At Starbucks or was it San Francisco whatever... My memory failing me... But it was definitely at Damansara Jaya, near Uptown. You see, sense of humour runs in their family. That was one of the reason that we got along so well. I personally love to joke around and just laugh and so did they.

During that visit, Sham told me that Geevan had a crush on me, for the longest time... We were just good friends and I didn't realise that he was infactuated with me.

On 4 September 2004, Nush returned to Malaysia for her wedding. My sister and I made a special trip to their hometown to attend her wedding. I saw Geevan and had a very short conversation with him and that was the last time I saw him.

The whole thing happened so suddenly. He just died. About 1 day of hospitalisation and that was it. How fragile life is. Most of all, I treasure all the memories we had together. Death of someone close to me was something I was not used to. I am in my late 30s and the people I know are still fairly young.

Lastly, I know that God has been merciful to Geevan and loves him so deeply that He brought him home to a wonderful and beautiful place. Spared him all the pain and humiliation that he had been through for the longest time.

Geevan, I will see you again.... one day...

Winter in Bangkok



I woke up this morning to a cool breeze, no, its not the air condition. Winter is coming to Bangkok! It was beautiful! It is an emotion which was difficult to express - it was pure joy!

Having lived in Malaysia all my life, the weather has always been the same... hot or rainy. Here in Bangkok, I get to experience Cameron Highland's weather at my doorstep! How great is that?

This will be my 2nd time experiencing winter in Bangkok. Last year was very beautiful too. Infact, we were at Khao Yai National park - Nakhon Rachatsima for 5 days. Maybe I will write a separate blog just on that trip. It was absolutely glorious weather!!

I am sitting at my dining table now and the window is just beside me... the wind blown in is so cooling eventhough its 12.30pm in the afternoon. The sun is hot but the wind is still cool... surprisingly. From previous experience, it seldom rain during winter. Its cool and dry, unlike Cameron Highland, which is misty and wet.

In Bangkok, when its summer, its extremely hot but now, I am rewarded with cool weather. Friends who have been living here for some time, says that previous years, winter did not "arrive" in Bangkok. Places like Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand was cool but not in Bangkok. So, possibly, I brought the winter back ;-)