Thursday, January 31, 2008

Free Online Children Story

My children loves... No. Let me correct myself. Addicted is more like it. They absolutely cannot live without listening to an audio story in a day. Its usually during lunch break and before they go to bed.

There are various program in just one website. They are:

  1. Down Gilead Lane (Audio story)
  2. The Pond (Audio story)
  3. Paws & Tales (Audio Story)
  4. Kids Corner
  5. Your story hour
  6. Karen and Kids
  7. We Kids (Songs and stories)
  8. His Kids Radio (Songs & Stories)
Focus on the family also has audio story and its updated everyday except Saturdays and Sundays. So, you have a new story everyday!
  1. Adventure in Odyssey (Focus on the family)

The stories are very well produced and most of them send my children and I cracking. It incorporates values into each story. My children have been listening to it for years now. They have learnt many things without actually realizing that they are learning. They just enjoy the stories. Their favorite character is Tony the Frog and Floyd the Turtle in The Pond.

The Ponds and Adventures in Odysseys are my ALL TIME FAVORITE!!! Go online today to enjoy the free audio stories.

Note: As of 15 September, 2008, I have updated this post. There were some changes to the websites and the links.

Posted by Picasa

Some more Christmas Presents???

Its been more than 1 month, but I guess the children are still in Christmas mode... But... but.. Its Chinese New Year season.... erm... Anyway, Joel has earned some money by washing the windows. He realised that he bought his younger brother a crappy gift, so now that he has the cash, he has decided to buy him something Ethaniel really likes.

We bought it whilst Ethaniel was away at a friend's house. He was surprised with the gift and said, "Thank you Koh Koh".

Oh, isn't that sweet of Joel... I was touched.
Posted by Picasa

Personality and Temperament - Part 2

To read Part 1

To me, human relations are one of the most complicated thing in the world! Its like, you can't live with them, you can't live without them. We are not meant to live as hermits or an island. All of us have parents, parent-in-law, family, colleague and etc. So, we cannot totally escape from human relations. We need to deal with it as much as we possibly can. We have to teach our children to be able to live peacefully with others. Does it come naturally? For some yes, and others no.

Let me take the example of Joel, my 11 years old son. He is by nature an introvert. Through my observations, he is partly Melancholic and partly Phlegmatic. It has been very difficult for him to express his emotions since he was young. Whenever we scold him, he immediately shuts down. So, it causes a lot of frustration for him and us. I wasn't sure how to draw him out of his 'shell'.

According to the experts, you have to give them a safe environment. A place where they feel free to express themselves and not be criticized, rejected or judged. I try to put myself in his place. I guess, adults feel the same way too. Not many will be able to open up in a critical environment. With his temperament, it's doubly difficult.

I took many hours, days and months mentoring him. As a homeschooler, I was with him 24/7 and 365 days. So, I could see irregularity in his behaviour. I tried to balance between reprimanding and breaking his spirit. It was difficult. I prayed.

Over the years, I have seen Joel coming out of his 'shell'. He is more vocal, braver, confident, funnier, happier, less selfish, calmer, grateful, more self-controlled and less angry. By nature he has weaknesses and through nurture, he has managed to overcome some of his temperaments. Not totally rid of his weaknesses but has managed to learn to live with it and even have some victories. Some people are by nature, very nice. Some have to try very hard.

I can by nature easily 'let go' and forgive, unless I go through a very bad situation, then its a little more difficult. Whilst Joel is the opposite. So, that was my first lesson for him. Forgiveness. It takes a lot of effort for him to forgive, a very conscious effort.

How I mentored him since the age of 8 years old:
  • Explain to him the meaning of forgiveness and why he needs to forgive
  • Explain the consequences of unforgiveness e.g. sickness, bitterness, unhappiness, bad relationships with family members, colleagues and God.
  • Everytime he experiences a squabble (usually with his brother), remind him to forgive. Allow him to feel the emotion rather than denying it but explain that eventually he will have to forgive.
  • If he still hasn't forgiven, its obvious because he usually still seem angry in the way he communicates with his brother.
  • Do not judge him but love him despite his weaknesses
  • Pray for him
  • Ask him to pray and ask God for help.
According to him, he is now an Expert Forgiver (if there is such a word). But I have seen his improvement. So, if your children have struggles in various areas, you can help them. The younger, the better. I have seen many adults having difficulty in unforgiveness, to a stage whereby they have sicknesses the doctors are unable to diagnose. Health is not only in the food they eat, but their emotional health as well.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

My Sister Watched Australian Open - Live!

I know of some people would have died for a ticket to watch the Australian Open finals LIVE. My sister was fortunate enough to have been there! Read her blog.

Food Wish List

We will be going back to Malaysia for Chinese New Year. All of us have our cravings and food wish list....

Lets begin with mine:
  1. Asam pedas and young Jack fruit lemak from the Malay lady near Giant supermarket in PJ
  2. Indian rice from SS3
  3. Garlic cheese nun from a stall in Taman Mayang (near old Lim Kok Wing building) SS26?
  4. Mee Curry
  5. Chicken rice
  6. Hokkien Mee from Paramount Garden
  7. Yin Yong noodle
  8. Lok lok from Malacca
  9. Nasi lemak in packet
  10. Wan Tan Mee
Joel's list
  1. Asam pedas
  2. Mutton curry
  3. Mee Curry
  4. Paper Tosei
  5. Nasi lemak in packet
  6. Roti Canai
  7. Garlic cheese nun
  8. Coney dog from A & W
Ethaniel's list:
  1. Asam pedas
  2. Nasi lemak
  3. Paper Tosei
  4. Chicken rice
  5. Char Siew rice
Ivan's list:
  1. Char keow teow
  2. Mee goreng mamak
  3. Hong Kong chee cheong fun
  4. Mee curry
  5. CHENDOL!!!

I will come back with pictures and the sinful obesity which we will be indulging... Guilt? Not yet. Maybe after the trip to the weighting scale.

Rain, Rain.... You Are Back?

I woke up this morning to the sound of raindrops. Welcome back. It has not rained since winter started some time in November 07. So, the rainy season has started. Indeed without any warning. My clothes hanging outside was totally soaked.

When it rains, it pours. They don't trickle, not in Thailand anyway. It has been so dry. The rain is good to keep the dust down.

What I have discovered, a little rain, that's all it takes to flood the roads in Bangkok. Drainage problems? Sinking city? I am not sure. Definitely the consequences are worst traffic jams. So, when it rains, change plans. No traveling into the city and always bring an umbrella.

I love the rain. It reminds me of childhood days when we did not have air-condition. Rainy days means cooling nights, nice to snuggle under the blankets and snooze away. It also meant playing in the water, after rain. There was no luxury of swimming pool then.

Water and children goes hand-in-hand. I can it see it in the life of my children. They love it too, any chance they get.
The children loves to see flood water in front of our gate. I am sure I will get a chance to take some photos of them playing in the rain, in the next few weeks. Hmm... isn't wonderful to be a child?

Posted by Picasa

Mommy Dog Again?

"Mommy!!! See, who's at the front door (not gate)!!! Its the Mommy Dog! Oh, so poor thing..." exclaimed Ethaniel.

In my heart was a big "Oh dear!" What have I done? I know I made a mistake when I fed it yesterday. Oh well, just add that to the existing long list of mistakes I regularly make in my life :-/

How not to sympathise? Just look at that pitiful face

One more meal coming up!
Posted by Picasa

Ethaniel Did It!

If you recall my blog on Ethaniel struggling to overcome a weakness, without divulging the actual struggle... He SUCCESSFULLY overcame it and we are all VERY PROUD of him.

Well done, Ethaniel!!!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Mommy Dog Came For a Visit

This morning we had a guest at the gate. Guess who? Yes, the Mommy Dog. We have not gone to see her and her puppies in the last few days. According to the children, there are only 3 puppies left. The rest has been taken.

Very excited to see the Mommy dog

Mommy dog eating some food

What Can You Do With a Blue Tack?

What can you do with a blue tack?

Other than using it as a stationery......

Following are some of the ways....


Superman "S" sign

Nose ring

Running nose

Mouth ring?

Long nose shit

Ethaniel was experimenting all the things you can do with blue tack just before we started our studies.

I was looking down to read something to him and when I looked up, I saw this face and laughed and laughed... But actually can be pretty annoying when I am trying to be serious and teach his Phonetic lessons.

Posted by Picasa

Left Brain and Right Brain Test

I was checking out one of the blog and came across this test. It was really simple. According to the test, I am Right Brain.

I asked Joel and Ethaniel to take the test. Ethaniel is a Rigth Brain because he saw the lady turning clockwise. Joel on the other hand saw it turning anti-clockwise and then clockwise. He insisted that the lady kept changing positions!!

I explained to him that if he sees her turning clockwise then he is Right Brain and if she turns anti-clockwise, he is Left Brain. But, how do you explain it if he see her changing position every few seconds??

Me: So, do you see it moving anti-clockwise or clockwise?

Joel: I see it keep changing positions!

Me: Huh? Maybe you are.... (didn't get to finish my sentence)

Joel: FULL Brain!

Now, that's original.

Funny Posters

Stupid Sign
More Funny Pictures at

Funny Posters

Too Sexy!
More Funny Pictures at

Turnips Grown in Thailand

This is a 3kg turnip which I purchased on the way returning from Kanchanaburi. Interesting eh? You will not get such large ones from Malaysia. I plan to cook "popiah" (Spring roll) in the next few days.

To those who are not familar with Malaysian "popiah" or spring roll. Its like a Lebanese bread but much thinner and you wrap turnip, cucumber, bean sprout, shallots, eggs, beancurd, lettuce, grounded peanuts (optional) and 'hoisin sauce'.

The Thais have spring rolls too but they replace all vegetable ingredients with glass noodles and something else, which I have no clue. You can only get turnip around October in Thailand. The rest of the year, I don't get to eat "popiah". Unless, I visit the market at Seri Centre, along Srinakarin road. The Hoisin sauce by Lee Kum Kee can be purchased at Seri Centre for B140 (RM14) per bottle. Its about B50 (RM5) per bottle in Malaysia.

The Thais usually eat turnip as a fruit, raw. Its usually very small, much smaller than the ones we get from China. Absolutely deliciously sweet and crunchy! Try some the next time you visit Thailand.
Posted by Picasa

Monday, January 28, 2008

Day 4 - Holiday to Chiang Mai

To Read Day 1 , Day 2, Day 3, Day 5, Day 6

24 December, 2007, Monday

It was a relaxing time staying in the hotel. There was no plan to do anything except relax. So, in the morning, the children wanted to do some cycling. There wasn't any child bike, Ethaniel had to sit with one of us... He decided to sit with Joel, because he is known to cycle into potholes which is considered "extremely fun", whilst the rest of us avoids it.

The ride includes interesting scenery along the way. We saw some cows, nice plants, flowers and the highlight was a mandarin orange plantation. We walked into the plantation and admired the ripening fruits dangling from its branches. This is my first time visiting a mandarin orange plantation! I was ecstatic! Ethaniel conveniently plucked an orange, so, we took it back to the hotel to feast on it. When we returned, the hotel provided a bowl of fruits complimentary and it was much sweeter and delicious compared to the one we plucked.

We went to Chiang Mai town for dinner. Hopefully we can go to the Night Bazaar without much trouble. We managed to find our way to the Night Bazaar. Unfortunately, we went to the expensive touristic section, whereby food was B50 for a bowl of "Kao Soi" (similar to "Mee Curry" in Malaysia) and not as delicious as we expected. But we did get some very nice fresh oyster for B40 per piece. Since the rest of the family members do not favour it, I enjoyed 4 pieces all by myself. Oh yeah! That was good.

Kao Soi is a popular dish in Chiang Mai. It has raw shallots, pickled vegetable, yellow flat noodle, deep fried yellow noodle and chicken. We like it because it reminds us of the "Mee Curry" back home. We purchased some from another night market which we accidentally bumped into, and purchased it for B15 per bowl.
Check out my online album.
Posted by Picasa

Brotherly Love!

Joel and Ethaniel plays very well with each other. They love to tease, joke, annoy, irritate, poke and spend time with each other. They will definitely be very bored without each other.

When they are nice, they are NICE but when they are NOT, I feel like sending one to North Pole and the other to South Pole.

Its nice to remember the good times that siblings have with one another.

Posted by Picasa

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Personality and Temperament - Part 1

I was exposed to Personalities and Temperaments since my early twenties. The information I obtained from the book I purchased was absolutely life changing, which I later gave to my sister before she left for Australia. It has been an information I used throughout my life. It not only helped me understand my bosses, colleagues, boyfriends, friends, family members, husband, now my children but also about myself.

I will not describe the details here but I suggest that you read it from this website. Don't forget to take the personality test. Following are the 4 basic personality:
  1. Sanguine
  2. Choleric
  3. Melancholic
  4. Phlegmatic
In the test, I am 20% Phlegmatic, 55% Sanguine, 13% Choleric. Therefore, I am a Sanguine Phelgmatic. My husband is for sure a Melancholic because we are direct opposites. According to the experts, opposite attracts. But sometimes they attack too!

Knowing the Personality Traits and Temperaments of the people we are closest to, helps us to understand their behaviour and quirks, therefore, giving them the benefit-of-the-doubt when they act or speak in a seemingly hurting way. We are all born with a main personality which will remain for the rest of our lives. We might improve or change a little here and there as we go along. But its doubtful that a Melancholic can become a Sanguine. Unless she or he experienced a trauma.

Go through the test and let me know what your Personality Traits is / are.

More Stories on Ethaniel than Joel?

My husband has been reading my blog and commented that I have more write up on Ethaniel than Joel. It's true.

I wish I started the blog much earlier, then, I would have more things on Joel. He is 11 going to 12 years old. Its not a cute age. He does more sensible things, more obedient, more responsible and more matured than Ethaniel. Maybe, I will flash back on some of the things which has happened in Joel's life last year. I know definitely there is a lot of learnings from there.

Ethaniel is the direct opposite of Joel. He is an extrovert, funny, disobedient, clownish, loud, annoyingly irritatingly expressively loving and he loves to entertain. So, inevitably there will be more write up on him. If you noticed from the photos, he is extremely cheeky and strangers take to him like magnets.

But still, I love them all the same. Its not easy for a parent to love her children all the same, its a conscious effort that I have to make. One of these days, I will share my story.

Thailand vs Malaysia - Part 4

To read Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3

This is contributed by my fellow Bangkokian, The Laus who incidentally was our inspiration to travel in Thailand.

  • Thailand - "kuey tiao" means noodles in general
  • Malaysia - "kuey tiao" means the flat white noodles


  • Thailand - This hotel is expensive => over USD$300/room/night
  • Malaysia - This hotel is expensive => USD$100/room/night
(The prices of hotel in Thailand is generally more expensive in Thailand,
comparatively than Malaysia)


Meanwhile.... it is possible to comment:
  • Thailand - This resort is of excellent value => USD$8 per room per night
  • Malaysia - USD$8 gives you a room above "kopitiam" (A coffee shop in Chinese dialect i.e. Hokkien)


  • Thailand - The supply of new design of goods in shops seems endless and extremely creative.
  • Malaysia - The supply of goods are mostly, "made in China", "made in Thailand", "made in Vietnam"....

I am back!

Sorry I have been quiet in the last few days. I had no access to internet whilst traveling. I was away to Kanchanaburi for 3 days 2 nights. I was there in November 07 but my husband have not been there. It was a short but good break.

Just arrived home an hour ago.

Will write a brief blog about my trip later.... Have not even finished my December 07 holiday :-/. Anyway, sorry for not telling you all. I was hoping that I could get internet access. Unfortunately, no.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Mommy's Day Out

I decided to go for the church's Ladies Fellowship after some contemplation. Our homeschooling schedule does not allow me to go weekly, so, monthly will still give me the opportunity to socialise with the other ladies.

We were planning for a playday for the children with a fellow homeschooler. She was nice enough to take the children for the whole day. So, I had the WHOLE DAY to myself! Oh my, what am I going to do with a WHOLE DAY???!!! To top the icing on the cake, I had the car.

After I dropped the children, I headed towards the Ladies Meeting in the city. We had a wonderful time of sharing at the meeting, lunched together and I finished the day with a two hour massage. Woh! That was gooooooood.

The last time I had a whole day off by myself was .... err... aahhh... erm.... Oh, I don't recall but I did go to a Women's Retreat in Oct 07.

Now, I am recharged.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

His Antics

Ethaniel and his antics....

Posted by Picasa

Two Front Teeth

Since yesterday, one of Ethaniel's two front teeth has been shaky. At the rate he is 'shaking' his teeth, it won't be long before it actually drops out. Stay tuned.

Trying to shake his teeth with the tip of his tongue

Amused at his own antics :-/
Posted by Picasa

Earning Extra Cash

Joel is working hard to earn some extra cash. He wants to save up to buy some stuffs. So, immediately after studies today, he washed all the fans. Washing the fans are not part of his normal chores. So, when he does it he will get extra monies. E.g. washing the windows, toilets and fans. Each fan is B30 (RM3). He washed 6 pcs. So, by end of this week, including payment for his chore duties, he should be receiving B280 (RM28). Not too bad earnings for an 11 years old boy, eh?

I want him to know the benefit of hardwork. Its good training for him. At least he will not grow up to be a spoiled brat, lazy husband and father.

I told him that I used to wash cars for my sister's boyfriend (now husband) to earn extra cash to go for church camps. If I waxed the car, I get extra cash. My elder sister and brother used to work during school holidays as clerk and kitchen help, respectively. So, I am proud to say that all of my siblings are responsible citizens, holding good jobs and my sister is returning to University pursuing her studies in Australia and coming up top in her class! So, hardwork will always be beneficial, its the lazying around that's harmful.
Posted by Picasa

One of Those Days

Yes, its one of those days when Ethaniel drives me up the wall and OUT the window.

In the middle of our studies, his constant jokes, funny faces, dawdling, "Can I have a hug and a kiss?", "I am tired", "I am hungry", "Can I have my dessert now?", "Can I have my 10 mins break now?". I have to repeat request again and again AND again! Not forgetting his new found habit of making funny noises with his lips which absolutely drives his brother up the wall with RAGE! So, both of them were at each others throat whole morning (They had to sit beside each other for studies).

When it was time to finish his Math, he insisted on doing extra 6 pages of work. I had enough of teaching for the day!!!! Let's finish NOW! But this little boy was having so much fun doing the Math exercise that he MUST continue for another 6 pages. There were those days I had to threaten him to do his work. I don't understand this boy.

"Ethaniel please close the door," I screamed from the kitchen.

"Yes, Honey!" exclaimed Ethaniel.

Now, how do you stay angry with this little boy?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

A Big Hip Hip Hooray for Ethaniel!

In order not to embarrass Ethaniel, I will not state the exact struggle he is facing. But its a HUGE struggle. My Mother and I have trying various techniques to help him overcome it but none help.

Yesterday, he did it!!!! He overcame his weakness and triumphed!!!! Well, we still need to test it for a few more days to make sure he has fully overcomed it. I will keep you updated. The other motivation was that I promise to reward him 20 beanies. Yes, it's the rewards that made him take up the challenge.

Again, reward IS truly an amazing motivation.

Its A Huge Blogger's World Out There

I started blogging for the purposes of
  • noting events in my family and personal life
  • leaving a historical trail for my children and hopefully grandchildren
  • keeping families and friends informed re the happenings of our lives
and the latest reason
  • my hobby
I think the above reasons pretty much covered why I am now a blogger. Since yesterday, I have been surfing other blogger's sites and realised that blogging is a HUGE thing. They have awards and nominations for being the Best Blogger blah blah blah. My goodness, this might lead to obsession! I hope it won't. Joel will beg to differ. He has been complaining that I have been spending too much time on the computer. I said, its my hobby NOT addiction. Its a little thin line. I know. I often lecture them on their addiction of TV, playing and etc. It takes an Addict to be able to identify an Addict?

It has been a real wonderful outlet since I started blogging. Being a stay-home-Mom cum homeschooler in Bangkok is .... how should I put it... without sounding too negative.... CHALLENGING. Yes, that's the word. The city is so large that it takes at least 30 mins drive to meet my nearest friend, baby-sitter is non-available, taxi is easily accessible but cumbersome, waiting for hubby to return home with car - its getting late and not to mention traffic jam.

So, blogging is such a cheap hobby! Low maintenance and extremely satisfying. In between typing, I can cook, wash the dishes, hang the clothes, feed the children, clean the house, meet-the-hubby-at-the-door-when-he-comes-homes, nap and watch TV too! So, if you are looking for a hobby, I highly recommend blogging.

I am not aspiring to get some kind of nomination award, not now anyway. I just hope that my families and friends will come and visit my blog to keep in touch, every now and then. Sound so humble, eh?

Monday, January 21, 2008

Day 3 - Holiday To Mae Sot & Chiang Mai

Read Day 1, Day 2, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6

23 December 2007, Sunday

After breakfast, we headed towards Myanmar -Thai friendship bridge, Mae Sot town. Its a small town with very little happenings except for shopping. We went to the market just beside the border selling all kinds of good. I am not sure who are the frequent shoppers but there are a mix of Thai, Myanmar and electrical goods from China. If I am to guess, I would say that the Myanmar comes over the border to get goods which are not easily available in their own country. There were imported mushrooms from Japan and dried kiwi fruits from New Zealand too.

Thai-Myanmar friendship bridge

"No Man's Land"

At the border

On the other side of the market, there are a lot of goods from Myanmar. I can spot them because of their make up and Thai slang. They were selling seafood, huge life prawns and crabs. Dried seafood e.g. shrimp, anchovies and lots more.

Lots of crabs!

special make-up worn by the Myanmar women

Peeping over the makeshift divider, we can see 'No Man's Land'. Such a difference from Thailand... the poverty and lack. It was pretty sad, I must say.The shopping at Mae Sot market is excellent. The prices of clothes are at least B100-B150 cheaper than in Bangkok.

Good shopping

Some locally made clothes for export market

Wood carving seems to be popular and cheap

Chiang Mai, Thailand

By noon time we left towards Chiang Mai and arrived at 4pm to Baan Nam Ping Riverside Village. The resort is located in the "middle of nowhere", 30 mins from Chiang Mai town. Its a very cosy place, just beside the river. We purchased their rooms through the Travel Exhibition in Queen Sirikit. We often frequent those exhibitions to get good deals. Look at my online album to see pictures of the place.

After check-in, we went out hoping to go to the Night Bazaar but was distracted by the sign "Chiang Mai Night Safari". Yes, the famous Night Safari. So, we headed there. Due to my ability to speak a little bit of Thai, we paid the local rate B250 per adult and B150 per child. That was a 50% savings!

The building was very nice and impressive. It had a musical fountain which was simple and nice. Not as impressive as the one in Singapore but still nice. There are 2 tour routes, inclusive of English translation and that was very enjoyable. The animals looked very healthy and they boast the safari to be the "Most Beautiful Night Safari in the World". There are only 3 in the world - Singapore, China and Thailand. Quoting their website, "Chiang Mai Night Safari was established after Singapore Night Safari and China Night Safari Guangzhou. Chiang Mai Night Safari is 2 times larger than Singapore Night Safari and it is considered to be the most beautiful night safari in the world."

I particular enjoyed some of the jokes told by the guide on the 2nd route. He said, if you want to know the gender of the Zebra, you need to look at the bottom of its feet. If the stripes begins with white, then its a female. So, all of us busied ourselves counting the stripes. A few minutes later, he said that it was a joke not a fact. All of us broke into laughter at being fooled!!! That was a good one ;-).

The other comment he made about the hippopotamus.... Many women likes to go on diet eating vegetables and fruits hoping to loose weight, its not true. Just look at Mr Hippopotamus.

We didn't manage to get any photos for both of the safari route because we were not allowed to take photos. It might affect the animals. For more photos of the Chiang Mai Night Safari, visit my online album.