Thursday, July 31, 2008

Youngest Lead Climber in Asia, My Son?

Today, Coach Majid trained Ethaniel (6 yrs 9 mths) to Lead Climb and he did it! Twice!!

According to Majid, he is the youngest lead climber in Asia. The normal age for children to lead climb is 15 years onwards. But his unconventional coaching has trained many children to lead climb. He has children who are gold medalist in Asia.

Ethaniel climbing a boulder

Ethaniel can climb this wall easily at Camp 5 in Malaysia

We are so proud of you, Ethaniel!!!

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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Flowers For Me?

I almost fell from my chair ;-)

My hubby came back from work with a bunch of flowers for me...
For no reason at all...
So sweet ....

Thanks Dear!

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Monday, July 28, 2008

Foods & Cravings

I noticed that I have gained some weight since my visit to Malaysia. Hmm.... that's not good news.

I have felt huge cravings for Thai food since I returned. Som Tum (papaya salad), kaprao pla muk (Basil with cuttlefish), Tom Yum Kung and various other dishes. I have been wanting to eat it, since the whole of last week.

I did satisfy some cravings last week and over the weekend in Rayong. We had some good food.

Joel said that he is beginning to love Thai food more and more... and slowly loosing interest in Malaysian food. Still love it but not much cravings.

Oh well, that's just us adapting into the local life, I think.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Hanging Out At The Mamak Stall

Malaysia is well known for its "Mamak Stall" culture.

Going back to Malaysia, I was dying to hang out for some "teh tarik" and "nasi lemak".

I was introduced to a "nasi lemak panas" along Jalan 222, near Hino building by my good friend, CH. The road is dark and deserted but upon approaching the stalls, it was crowded! On a Thursday night at 11pm, there was hardly any seats.

Going there again for the 2nd time on a Friday at about 11pm too. It was overwhelmingly busy and tables were set up on the sides of the street. Wow!

CH trying to pose some position for Ethaniel's camera shots

Everyone amused... JL, YY & YP

The delicious "nasi lemak"

Is this delicious or what? Nasi lemak and Milo ice

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Saturday, July 26, 2008

Life, Friends, Prayers, Victories & God

There was a time not too long ago, I was faced with one of the greatest challenge of my life. A huge brick wall. Maybe comparable to the Great Wall of China. Well, to me, it was.

I am really not one person who likes to recall bad memories or difficult moments. Who does?

I am the ever optimist!

I was facing all the
D words in the dictionary.

Discouraged, dissatisfied, distressed, disillusioned, despondent, disheartened, depressed ....

That's many
D in one sentence. Can be quite overwhelming.

Sometimes the journey of life can lead us into a section whereby its not within our control and we begin to feel helpless and hopeless. When we began the journey, it all looked so good but somehow, somewhere things begin to go wrong. Unexpected downturn.

In those moments, what do you do?



Turn back?

Run away?

Sit-down and cry?

All of the above, maybe.

Honestly, I didn't know what to do. I know God was there for me. He has always been there. But this time, it wasn't enough. I needed emotional support and prayers. Somehow, I knew that God was guiding me.

I have never done it before, but I began to frantically ask for prayer support (without revealing my actual struggle). I had a friend who called up to say that God asked him to pray for me... I was so touched, I knew God cared. He will help, but I just didn't know how.

To summarize the situation, God worked a miracle and the situation turned around unexpectedly.
I knew that it was because of the many prayer support I asked for.

I have learned to humble myself and ask for help when I cannot continue the journey alone. I am amazed at how many people will crowd around to lend their support.

Why the miracle?

Because of His Grace, Mercy and Love shall follow me all the days of my life...

Thank you, God. Once again, you have showed Yourself true and faithful.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Learning To Be Myself

What does it mean to "fit in"?

What does it mean "to be accepted"?

All of us yearn to fit in and be accepted, right?

Not too long ago, I was like that. I had a great need to be accepted and to fit-in. I didn't like to be ignored.

It used to bother me a lot...


I wasn't really sure. I didn't even realise that it was an issue.

I used to go out of my way to ensure that people like me. If I know that they have a problem with me, it bothered me and I will usually want to make amends. Or sort things out.

I begin to realise that my attitude and response was not right because I was being a "man pleaser". You see, even Jesus had enemies. It can't be possible for me to have none!

I admire people who totally ignore other people's feelings and opinions. Just do whatever they like and not care what others think. Of course, I am like that too, in a way.

I don't follow the crowd.

I don't run to the Louis Vuitton shop just because my friend bought one. I am happy they are willing to spend thousands of RM or Baht to purchase one.

But to be intentionally mean, it will be very hard for me to do. To act in order to revenge or hurt another person, its not natural for me. Unless if I need to teach the person a lesson. For her own good. I have done that once but I am not free to blog about it here.

I felt that God wanted me to be released from being a "man pleaser". It was hard at first. But I begin to practice it. Try not to be too bothered by people who do not like me or have no chemistry with. Instead of striving soooo hard to gain their approval.

Gaining approval is not the problem. But living for the approval, that's the issue.

So, in the last year or so, I have been working on this and its definitely a great feeling. Its OK for others not to like me. As long as I like myself and know my position in Christ.

Wow! The feeling is refreshing!!!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Sunway Lagoon with Sister & Family

Without a trip to Sunway Lagoon, the Waterpark & Themepark in Subang Jaya - a Malaysian trip will not be complete. So on 16 July 2008, Wednesday, we had to go.

The thing about going to places like this, you need to go with fun people. Those crazy ones who is willing to do anything for a scare... Obviously I have found it in my nephew and my sons. Actually I am pretty proud of Joel. He seems to be game for all the scary rides. I was like that too when I was young. It looks like Ethaniel is also similar.... This trip he was able to go on most of the rides in the wet park.

Sitting on the Cowboy Boot

KL and Joel

My sis, KW (my nephew) and Ethaniel

Ethaniel went on the slide, far right. 5-6 times! After the 3rd time, I was tired. So, KW (older nephew) took him

Magic carpet - Ethaniel's favorite slide! It was fun...

Fun water slides

Ending the Sunway Lagoon outing with an ice-cream... He and his sweet tooth

Everyone tired and ready to go home... Fun but tiring day!

The fun thing about the whole outing was the fun company. Everyone went on the slides and no one was allowed to be "Chicken" eventhough my sister admitted at one point during the initial part of the outing that she felt that.

We laughed, played and felt we were kids again that day.... My, the joy of childhood.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Get-Together With Old Friends from BFC

Just before I left for Bangkok, 2.4 years ago, I was working with a football centre in Subang Jaya, Malaysia.

Everytime I return to Malaysia, that is if its not a short hurry trip, I will surely have a get together with them. In the last 2.4 years, we have had 3 get-togethers, including the last one on 13 July 2008, Sunday.

We had delicious Malaysian food and heaps of laughter, fun and updates on the latest happenings.

A big "Thank You" to AS for organising the get-together and of course allowing us to use her home.

Coach V (Brazilian), Judy, David, daughter, Nicholas, Coach Lama (Brazilian), me & AS

The students and parents are close to me. Actually, they are a great bunch of people whom I had grown to enjoy and love. Jokes and laughters are common while we get together. I have known some of them since the day they enrolled into the centre... almost 4-5 years ago.

This last get-together coincided with one of the family migrating to Australia, David & family. All the best to you, David!

Brazil Football Centre parents

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Our Condominium Is Sold!

Its a mixed feeling....

After putting up our condo for sale for almost 4 years now, someone has at last fallen in love with it enough to purchase it.

We moved into this condo, our 2nd property in the year 2000. The location was good, situated in the middle of Petaling Jaya, Selangor. Its very central. Easy access to Klang, Kuala Lumpr, Puchong, Bandar Utama and Damansara.

Since I returned to Malaysia, one week ago, I was concerned that the condo has been vacant since 1.5 months. The previous tenant left. So, I contacted a real estate agent. In fact, within 2 days, she brought someone to view and it was probably love at first sight. There was chemistry and in the next few days, the buyer confirmed the purchase.

There was joy and sadness at the same time.

In this home....

Ethaniel was born and grew up....

Joel slept all by himself .....

I stopped my full-time employment and became a homemaker ....

..... so many many more memories.....

It all happened pretty fast....

I contacted the agent sometime on 10 July, by 12 July, she had someone seeing the place and on the same day, he offered to buy it. In the next few days, he paid up the 2% deposit. The rest is history.

I am so grateful that in my last trip to Malaysia, I stayed at the condo for 2 weeks. I have not been back there since 2.4 years ago. Its nice to have said a last "Goodbye" ....

Where Is The Camera Bag???!!!!

Its always a nightmare when traveling and having misplaced a luggage. Of course, its not worst than loosing your passport. That would be the ultimate NIGHTMARE.

Anyway, today, we experienced the 2nd worst nightmare.... misplacing a bag. A very expensive, camera bag.

We realised this missing bag when we arrived at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA). Aaarrrggghhhh!!!!! An hour after we left our accommodation. That's an awfully long time.

Panic! Panic! Panic!

Everyone tensed.

Joel and I started to pray. To ask God to help us find the camera... or to convict the person who found it to return it back to us. In fact, Joel started praying way before I asked him. Quietly sitting down and praying. After that Ethaniel and hubby prayed.

I also prayed that God will use this incident to show to the children that He is a prayer answering God. That nothing is too difficult for Him and that He is able to do the almost impossible stuffs. A miracle!

Tracing back our thoughts, we realised that we did leave it behind. We did not take it to the Airport!

Trying to see who would be able to assist us.... We made a few calls.... To Daniel - my neighbour, Siew Mei - the minimart owner, my sister-in-law and my brother-in-law.

Everyone was so kind as to assist by going to the location to look for the item. Unfortunately, it was no longer there. Sigh. Since the RM3,000 (THB30,000 / USD1,000) camera belonged to my hubby... He was obviously the saddest person to receive the news.

It was really difficult to see him sad, frustrated, upset and disappointed.... All I could do was to give him a hug and told him that on the bright side, he will get a new camera!!! It didn't really help to cheer him up, though....

About 30 mins before boarding, we received a call from Daniel, my neighbour and said that someone by the name of Alan found the bag! Incidentally they were in the same lift together. Alan asked Daniel if he loss the camera and Daniel explained that it wasn't him but his neighbour. That's when we asked my brother-in-law, Kerwin to contact Alan to regain possession of the camera.

I was jumping for joy!!!!

God is good!!!

Thank God for honest people like Alan!!! Thank you, Alan!

Thank God for good and helpful neighbours like Daniel!!!! Thank you, Daniel!

Thank you Kerwin for collecting it back!!!

Hubby with his beloved camera

Joel said this while we were waiting for our flight (after the incident but before we recovered the camera)....

...."Usually when trials happen, its when God wants to teach us something"

Hmm... bulls-eye, my son! Children often has Words of Wisdom to teach us adults.

I think all of us learned various lessons today. But the greatest of them is that my children see with their own eyes that God is an ever present help in times of trouble and that we can go to Him for help and He WILL help. That is a more powerful lesson that 300 bible study put together.

Arrived Home Safely

We touched down at about 9.20pm.

The flight was smooth and there was no turbulence, eventhough Joel commented that he would like to experience one... some time...

The Flight Attendants were friendly, as expected of Thai Airways.

The food was OK... I had rice with fish. The children and hubby had noodles with chicken.

The airport is not overcrowded.

Queue at the immigration was not too long.

I am back home now... Yes. Home sweet home...

Sunday, July 20, 2008

8 July 2008, Tuesday (Malaysia Trip - Day 2)

We made a trip to visit my elder brother. You know, the one whom I blogged about a few months ago. His wife has just given birth to a baby girl.

Other than visiting his little baby girl, we had food in mind. Bah Kut Teh. Its a pork stew dish, very famous in Klang. Happens to be Ethaniel's favorite too. Actually, Joel and I love it too.... especially me.... So, I just have got to have it!!

All of us at the restaurant

We picked KL, my nephew from Subang Jaya and head towards Klang. We were not disappointed, the food was good. After brunch, the children spent the afternoon watching Kung Fu Panda DVD.

From left: Joel, Ethaniel, Mom, J.A. (my niece) and KL (my nephew)

My elder brother, the dotting Daddy

Bah Kut Teh, the pork stew dish... Oooohhh.... Yummy!!!

The new shopping centre, AEON Jaya Jusco was around the corner, so, we headed there to do some window shopping around 4pm.

Later, we had dinner with my parents at a function invited by a friend. Going into the 3rd dish, I saw the guy next to me lighted a cigarette and puffing away. I am a little paranoid about smoking. Cannot stand the smell. So, I tried to fan the smoke away... but it didn't really work. So, I tapped the guy's shoulder and gestured to him stop smoking. He looked away puzzled and spoke to his friend.

About 20 minutes after that, I could feel the air in that aircond hall thicken with smoke. Upon turning to the back portion of the large hall, I could see thick smoke everywhere. I have not seen that many smoker in one hall for a long long time. I almost suffocated! My life was shortened by a year after inhaling all those smoke, at the minimum, that night....

Now I understand why the guy next to me was puzzled. There was easily 100 smokers puffing away at the back of the hall and yet, this strange lady stopped him from smoking. Thinking about it just cracks me up!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Getting A Chance To Blog Again

My Malaysian trip has been so very busy.

Since the day I arrived, almost 2 weeks ago, I have not gotten a chance to access the internet via my laptop.

My sister has just gone back yesterday and today is a free day... no appointments with any friends. So, I am at Starbucks Cafe doing some email and blogging. I had to buy a cup of coffee for RM13.80 (THB138 / USD4). I didn't feel comfortable hanging out here without buying anything.

My Sister Has Returned Home

My sister has returned home to Australia since yesterday night.

We had a good time together... thought not a lot of alone time because of her commitments towards her in-laws.... I understood that. Some time is better than no time.

I am not sure when we will meet again... Me in Bangkok and she in Australia. Anyway...

Grandparents and the Grandchildren

My sister's family, my family, my parents and my grandmother

My cute little niece, J.A.

Cute little feet of J.A. I love this little feet. Reminds me of my children when they were young

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Sunday, July 13, 2008

Day Out With SH & Joanna

I met SH yesterday for a Bah Kut Teh eating session ;-)

I know Tang you are missing SH & Joanna, so I purposely loading some photos for you. Since this is not my computer, I am having some difficulty loading the photos. I am loading a few for you ...

We had food, shopping, fellowship and loads of fun day out!

See you back in Bangkok, SH!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

I have not been able to get to an internet access for the last few days. So, I have not been able to blog much.

I have been really busy catching up with friends. Almost every night I have been back home after 12am.

The children have gone to their paternal Grandparent's home since Thursday 10 July.

Its tiring having such an active social life! But really enjoying the company of old friends....

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Arrived Safely

The children and I have arrived safely in Malaysia since 7 July 08, Monday.

The flight was on time, food was good, flight attendants were pleasant and friendly. No, I am not paid to advertise for Thai Airways. The children enjoyed the flights anyway. They each had a can of Coca-cola. Small little things do bring a lot of joy... especially to children.
At Suvarnabhumi Airport.... having to leave Daddy behind...

In the Suvarnabhumi Airport, this lollipop attracted Ethaniel. He wanted to purchase this THB340.00 lollipop! Its huge!

After my Mom picked me up from the airport we went back to our old Condo which is currently void of tenant. We have not stayed there for almost 2.5 years. Sad to say, the condition is not like how it looked when we left it.

We spent hours cleaning and washing the place. Joel and Ethaniel did their share of helping.

Joel and Ethaniel mopping the floor and cleaning the toilet, respectively.

Mom was busy having her lunch... all the fruits I brought back from Thailand

After all the cleaning up and washing, we went over to my in-laws and thereafter to my Sister.

The day ended beautifully at a hawker centre full of my favorite food. We had Wan tan mee, char kueh teow, satay, clay pot rice, ABC, mee rebus, yin yong noodles... Burp! That was good.

More stories coming up when I get the chance...

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Children Says the Darndest Things

The thing about Ethaniel, his feet sweats especially after a long day of walking. So, whenever he takes out his sandals in the car, the smell often kills us.

So I have decided to purchase a pair of Geox snickers for Ethaniel... "The shoe that breathes".

He was very excited to wear the snicker to church. After the church, as usual, we always go for lunch. Whilst at lunch, Ethaniel took off his snickers. I was puzzled, so, I asked him...

Me: Hey, Ethaniel, how come you took out your Geox snickers.

Ethaniel: Its hot.

Me: Its not suppose to be hot, its "The shoe that breathes"

Joel without hesitating a moment and responded, "That's why its dying!"

Monday, July 7, 2008

A Hand Massager

I purchased this wooden porcupine looking thingy a few weeks back.

Its suppose to be a hand massager.

You know what? It works great.

I use it anytime I feel tired and anytime I want. Its great!!! Try one.

This wooden massager fits nicely into the palm and squeeze it

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Sunday, July 6, 2008

Meeting Up With My Sister

My one and only sister is back to Malaysia due to some family matters with her in-laws.

I have not seen her for two years now. She seldom comes back to Malaysia and I seldom go to Australia.

But we are meeting up next Malaysia. Hurray!!!

I am looking forward to catching up with her again... We always have a good time together... laughing, eating, talking, chatting, joking and just hanging out together.

I will be going back with the children...

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Relaxing Day at the Spa

A few days ago, I spend the whole day with a bunch of ladies... . Eventhough they accompanied their hubbies to Bangkok because of a conference, while the hubbies (including mine) are busy at the conference, we were busy boosting the economy of Thailand. It's an important job, you know.

I was playing tour guide.

The plan.... Shopping. Spa. Eating. And some more shopping....

Spa is like the "in thing" for people all over Thailand. Their hotels and resorts everywhere provides this service. I have stayed in Bangkok for 2.3 years but have just gone for a spa treatment, once. A few months ago.

All of us were very excited and was really looking forward to this new package of spa treatment which I purchased recently. It includes a body scrub, body mask, sauna, jacuzzi and a Swedish massage. Ooooohhh. Being treated like a queen for 2 hours. Like Cleopatra. Hmm... nice.

All of us had our individual rooms with a lady masseur. It began with a scrub then shower and then a body mask & sauna, then jacuzzi, shower and ended with a nice Swedish massage.

All of us went in tensed but after the treatment, EVERYONE looked fresh and FELT fresh.

This spa thingy, I think its something that I can get used to ;-)

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Friday, July 4, 2008

Keep Quiet

"Keep quiet!", shouts Joel.

This is something Ethaniel has not mastered.

Keeping quiet, is not something he is good at.

In fact, I think he struggles with it ....

What makes me think so?

Well...the constant interruptions when we do Wisdom Booklet together, asking questions irrelevant to the topic discussed in the Wisdom Booklet...

Humming while in the car, showering in the bathroom, while walking....

While he does his writing.... he talks....

While he does his reading... he talks in between sentences .....

Yesterday, he talked so much while his older brother was doing his project that Joel had difficulty concentrating. After some frustrated effort of trying to finish his project, Joel came over and said ...

Joel: "Mom, if I didn't have self control, I would have punched Ethaniel!"

Me: "I am glad you exercised self-control"

Joel: "The only reason I used self-control is because I am afraid of you... what you will do to me if I punched him!"

Me: "Fear of God is the beginning of wisdom - its in the bible"

Joel: "Fear of YOU stopped me from punching him... not God!"

Me: :-/

When children are young, parents are representatives of God. They cannot see God but seeing their parents, they can visualize what God is like. If parents are loving, fair, firm and etc. That's how they see God.

Struggles.... don't we all have them? Some struggles with trying to keep quiet, some with self-control and the rest of us with everything else.

Caught on camera: Joel 'torturing' his younger brother by flipping his finger to his earlobe. Note the cheeky smile on his face. He didn't know I was taking his photo by zooming the camera from afar.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Training Together with Other Mothers

The one very fun thing during my training in Singapore... are the Mothers. They are one hilarious bunch of women!!!!

As I mentioned earlier, it was really a brain-drain training. There were times when I was so tired and sleepy that I knew even coffee was not going to help.

Cecilia, one of the mothers started cracking jokes about her experiences as a swimming coach. I was laughing so hard that I had tears in my eyes. She is one funny joker!!! There were Elizabeth too. Another funny joker!

When Mothers come together, they know how to have a good laugh. Anyway, homeschoolers need to know how to laugh, if not, we would have gone crazy!!! Either that or our children would have gone crazy...

Cheers to you ladies who gave me great laughs during the training!!!!

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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

How The Children Coped While Mummy Was Away?

The children coped much better than my previous trip to Jordan / Israel.

Joel didn't cry his eyeballs out! That's a good sign.

They had Daddy at home....

They had their pillows....

They had their bolsters .....

They had their bed .....

They had their toys .....

They had their familiar surroundings of the home .....

They had their familiar food ....

Amazingly, they did their assigned homework.

So, they coped well but Joel suggested that I don't do this too regularly :-/

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Catching Up with Friends in Singapore

I have known Paul since we were 15 years old. After high school he moved away and we have just re-connected this year via Facebook. What do you know?

He and his wife works in Singapore.

It was great to have managed to catch up with him. According to his wife, with people whom he is not familiar, he is usually quiet. Obviously he is VERY familiar with me ;-)

We had a great time chatting and I was really encouraged by the many things he shared to me from his own bible reading revelations.

The church I currently attend encourages us to finish reading the bible in one year. So, I am all for reading the bible. What more, I have just purchased 2 bibles from Singapore - New Living Translation (NLT). Very easy to read and understand. Obviously suitable for both my sons. I am using it for the moment....


Kevin on the other hand is a new friend whom I met whilst on tour in Israel in April 08.

We had a great time dining at an Airport Chinese restaurant and then dessert at Swensen's.

Since I was suppose to hang loose, Kevin was just the ideal person to "hang" with. He is just so funny. Great sense of humor and did crack some crappy jokes which both of us understood and laughed about.

I don't have enough friends with such crazy sense of humor. Life is just too serious.

Thanks Kevin for those great laughs! Let's hang out when you come to Bangkok.

Shot of Kevin at Jericho, Israel