Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Its The Little Things

I was at the Women's Retreat during the weekend. I brought some cash but I left it in my pocket and I knew that my wallet was empty.

On Friday when I reached the Resort, SH and I was sitting in our room and just relaxing....

When I looked into my wallet, I saw THB2,500 (RM250) *pause*. I knew in that instant that my hubby put it into my wallet that morning before he left for work.

Thanks, Dear. It was a really sweet thing you did and yes, it touched my heart. I know that its those little things which you do for me which makes me feel loved. And shows that you care.

Monday, September 29, 2008

They Survived

The children survived my absence ..... and had fun too. How annoying.

No, I am kidding. Its good that they enjoyed themselves with Daddy.

Let's see... what fun things did they do during the weekend... Had some very delicious Nasi Briyani and Roti Canai. Later to Seacon Square, had fun at Yoyo Land, watched a movie, window shopped and etc.

Joel said that he missed me.... a little.... He was busy having so much of fun. He said, "I had fun even when Mummy's not around". I suspect he felt a sense of achievement that he "outgrew" Mummy for a short weekend.

I quietly felt sad that my 11+ years old boy didn't weep for his Mummy, the way he did when I went to Israel.

Ethaniel on the other hand was almost in tears when we were talking about it this morning .... "Mommy, don't go for any more trips... OK?"

I felt indispensable, again.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

I am back!

I arrived home this evening.

I had a great and wonderful time at The Women's Retreat since Friday.

Sorry, I didn't have time to leave a note on my blog before I left.

Thanks for dropping by. I will blog about my trip in the next few days.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Up To The Challenge?

I have been an amateur guitarist... all my life.

I picked it up myself and played for fun. Of course, I did play for the Christian Union in school but unfortunately, my skill did not advance further.

I could play that few simple songs...

Lately, I have been challenged... or inspired. But, I think more like challenged.

I songled for the Ladies' Meeting a few weeks ago and a fellow member came over and said that that my tempo was a little out. *very shy* Something which I already knew *sigh*. Looks like I have no choice but to improve my skills or retreat to my small comfortable hole - and stop playing. I wanted to do the latter but... but... I took up the challenge to improve. Its overdue anyway.

To add to that pressure, I will be going for a Women's Retreat this weekend.... And I am the only guitarist they have. Don't ask me where the other guitarist are... maybe retreated to their small comfortable hole. Anyhow, I panicked when I read the songs which the songleader gave to me... Mostly Hillsong. *shivering* Those are the songs I have avoided all my guitair-playing-years... Looks like the challenge has been literally thrown onto my doorstep.

Thank God for I was surfing till midnight looking for ways to improve my strumming skills. My fingers are aching because I have been practicing for almost 20-30 songs.

Why was I challenged and inspired? Well, I thought that since God gave me this small little guitar talent, I might as well use it. To make it worst, I cannot back out because all the other guitarist are not available.

Have you been in a similar situation? No one to do the job, except you. Funny how God uses situations like that to push us to the next level.

You know the Parable of the Talent in the book of Mathew in the Bible? Well, I need my small little talent multiplied. Soon. Preferably by this weekend.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Ethaniel's 1st Sleepover

I believe that childhood memories last a lifetime. Childhood friends are special ... There is a special compartment in our heart for them.

I have been trying to organise a sleepover for Ethaniel, preferably someone around his age. This has been planned way before summer break. So at last, we managed to squeeze it into the schedule.

Josh came over at about 4.30pm on that Saturday. They started with a bike ride all around our Mooban (village) together with Joel and Ethaniel. The excited boys was gone before I could run after them... to take a photo. So, I did not have a photo of their cycling adventure.

Later, it was swimming. Eventhough it was almost 6pm, the children were keen to go for a splash at the pool. Its always fun to play and splash around with friends. Its just magical moments to be playing in water, for a child, that is.

The effects of water and play is a combination of 3 very hungry boys! Good thing dinner was cooked before we went to the pool. Simple and delicious. Josh ask, "This is delicious, can I have the recipe?" It was porridge with minced pork balls. I was flattered that this 7 years old boy wants my porridge recipe.

Ethaniel, Josh & Joel

Playing at the pool with a huge plastic boat which floats

Yes, they had PSP moments of non-interaction

Josh has a routine before he goes to sleep, just like every children. His Daddy will tuck him in, read him the bible and kiss him goodnight. My children quickly picked up the queue.

Joel read the bible to both of them.

Prayed for all of them.

Ethaniel tucked Josh to bed....kissed him....

.... and all of them laughed and went to bed.

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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Are You OK?

We were cycling to the swimming pool a few days ago.

The adult bike has broken down.... I didn't want to make a 10 mins walk.

Joel offered his bike which is probably suitable for a 10 years old boy. I struggled but managed.

Beggars can't be choosers.

He and his younger brother rode on another bike. Him in front and his brother behind.

After a few minutes, he turned over to me and said, "Are you OK, Mom?"

Before I could answer, he asked another question, "Are you OK?", *sympathetic face* staring at his bike, obviously directing the question to his bicycle.

Friday, September 19, 2008

How Do I Give to God?

We were doing our phonics this morning and was studying the word "th".

Ethaniel: Ti-the.

Me: The word "tithe" means... If you receive THB100 from Dad, you give 10% to God, which is THB10.

Ethaniel: How do I give to God?

Me: You put it into the offering bag at Sunday school.

Ethaniel: *looking confused* But they take the money and give to the poor (obviously implying that they did not give it to God eventhough it was intended for Him)

* giggling*

Me: When you give it into the offering in Church, its like giving to God.

Ethaniel: Oh.

Now my little boy understands that God doesn't actually, physically or literally takes the money.

In the past, it must have been a daunting thing for this 6+ years old boy whenever we said, "We have to give our tithe to God". I would have given anything to know what he was actually thinking or imagining at that time ;-)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Best Smell In The World

On a hot Monday afternoon, he was sitting across the table and then he walked over to my side and slipped up to my lap. We did the Math together.

4 + 6 =

I wrote on the book.

He counted and answered "10".

We did a few more of it and while waiting for him to count....

My face was just behind his little head.

I bend down and sniffed the back of his head and neck.

A mixture of shampoo, soap, sweat and body odour. I took a few deep breath and more sniffs... Just like how dogs like to smell their beloved owners...

I thought to myself... The sweaty smell of my little boy.

This is the best smell in the world... Make way Gucci, Givency....

Monday, September 15, 2008

What's With The 2nd Child?

Many parents have talked about their 2nd child as if they were delivered by aliens or their origins are from Mars or something to that effect.

Ethaniel is the 2nd child.

He is different from my 1st born.

This 2nd child in the family seems to be

..... tough like leather.

..... never takes "no" for an answer.

..... test your parenting skills to the max!

..... persevering like Job from the bible.

.... wants it and it has to be now.

..... stubborn like a bull.

..... survival instincts which beats the "Survival" TV series, anytime.

.... fun like crazy.

..... overflowing with love like the Niagara falls.

.... warm and fuzzy like a bear.

.... humorous like a clown.

.... indispensable like an air-cond in a hot summer night.

.... adorable, adorable, adorable and absolutely adorable...

They are joy and pain all rolled into one.

If given a choice, I'd rather not have the latter.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Mission Trip: Near Misses

We went to visit the Pastor's Mom's home to pray for her.

She lives in an orchard. Full of fruit trees. The children and I was very excited to see Sandorica tree. They definitely have not climbed this tree before.

In my excitement to join them, I was standing below a tree, feasting on a freshly plucked Sandorica fruit and then suddenly I heard a loud "Thud!" I jumped. I turned behind to see this huge bamboo lying on the floor. The man on the tree looked at me and with his hand, he showed me, how near I was to being a "pancake" .... 5 inches.

This huge bamboo were so near to hitting me

I stared at it and made baby steps to leave *shivering and shaking* . All the while saying, "Thank you, God"

Passion fruit vs Sandorica fruit

Ethaniel enjoying a climb on the Sandorica tree

3 sackful of Sandorica to be brought to the children at the hostel


After that, we went to the Hostel.

While waiting to talk with the young girls at the hostel, I sat under a tree and looked through my photos in my camera.

In no time at all, we were gathered at the small little bamboo hut with all the girls gathered around. Suddenly, I have 4 sets of eyes staring at me. They looked a little strange. It was a controlled expression.

Hadasah told me that she will take something out of my hair. Which I cooly said, "OK". She retrieved a plastic bag nearby and went to my hair and quickly pulled something away.

After that, the girls expressed their shocked look. They wanted to scream but Hadasah stopped them. Everyone tried to rub away their goose bumps. Apparently, there was a huge white hairy caterpillar on my hair.

I didn't dare to go out to look for that squashed caterpillar but I can just imagine how huge it must be. You know, these girls are tribal girls who lives in the jungle. They live amongst the wild. If they can be this shocked.... It must have been a huge fella *shaking*

Thank God for His protection.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

My Need To Talk

I was down with diarrhea since last week Thursday and started feeling better about two days ago.

The boys were sweet and helpful... Joel cooked lunch i.e. boiled rice, fried eggs with baked beans, marinated the mince pork and had it fried. Then they washed the plates together and cleaned the kitchen.

At home, I lied down on the sofa while doing readings with Ethaniel. Yes, the sick Mom still have to homeschool. I want my Sick Leave! *raising hands to the air*

Feeling sickly, I will fit in a sigh or two... Or grumble that they are making too much noise during play time.... or ask for a glass of water from the kitchen... or ask Ethaniel to massage my back... or just look plain pitiful sickly.

Joel is very observant in his low profile and unassuming ways....

Joel: Mom, I thought you weren't feeling well, still.... But you sure didn't look that sickly when you were in Church... talking with your friends *puzzled innocent face or was it tinged with sarcasm*

Me: Yeah. I was still not feeling well. I could have talked more, if I was feeling better.

Joel: *enlightened look or was it skepticism*

My young man must be thinking that his Mom sure have heaps of things bottled up in her cute little body (all of us know I don't have a "little body", its just a figure of speech). How does she do it???!!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Nicely Surprised

I find my children's behaviour surprises me, sometimes.

Of course, nothing really really shocks me anymore....

But, its all warm and fuzzy when I am nicely and pleasantly surprised.

Like when....

I have been feeling ill with diarrhea this past few days and so, my body has been feeling tired and lethargic.

I get nice hugs and butterfly kisses from Ethaniel while I am lying down and my eyes are closed..

Joel offers to take the grocery bag after I paid for it *feeling like a real lady* ....

and he has a concerned look whilst asking, "Are you feeling OK, Mom?"

Don't we all Mothers live for moments like this?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Free Water Usage

Hubby went to the 7-eleven to have the water bills paid, a few weeks ago.

The lady at the counter, said "Blah-blah-blah-in-Thai-which-my-hubby-has-limited-knowledge-in-therefore-he-couldn't-understand-a-word-she-said".

Coming out of the 7-eleven, a little confused. You know, you really don't want to owe the Waterworks in Thailand. No, no, no.... Because of this. So, he went to work, a little distressed.

Eventually it was all sorted out after he read the post in Tang's blog about the subsidised water bill till end of the year.

Cheers to Thailand!

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Sunday, September 7, 2008

Seeing Myself In My Children

Friends say Joel looks like hubby.

Friends say Ethaniel looks like me.

Its quite true.

Ethaniel does take after me... more than just the good looks... is the cheeky sense of humor, playfulness and warm personality.

There is another thing he has taken after me *not so proud to admit* is his eating habit.

Joel and hubby eats whatever they order at the restaurant. If its chicken rice or noodle. They are happy to enjoy and finish just that.

But when Ethaniel and I orders something, we usually enjoy and finish it too. But we also covet Joel and Daddy's chicken rice and noodle and maybe the food at the next table. To us, that makes a meal complete. Slurp!

I see it so clearly this morning at breakfast....

Ethaniel was eating his Mama noodles... He requested for a bowl of my duck rice which I was eating and then he took a piece of BBQ pork and placed it on his plate. Later, his older brother was eating Maggie Mee... He begged for it relentlessly eventhough his older brother refused to share, citing he has eaten too much.

While Joel walked into the kitchen to take a glass of water, Ethaniel quietly took a bite of his noodles.

I hope that is the ONLY annoying habit he has taken after me...

*secretly knowing that will not be the last thing I see myself in him*

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Setting Our Children Free

I mentioned earlier that I took the opportunity to teach my children something educational regards to the Pastor who admitted he is a porn addict.

This is not my first time talking to them about the realities of sins and struggles a boy or man will face all the days of his life... sexual temptations. That is how they have been made... easily stimulated with their eyes. I can either pretend they are goody-two-shoes (which they are not!) or help them to face their struggles and be there to guide them through it. Even though I talk with casualness in my tone, its actually a very serious subject.

In this age of technology, where pornography is a click away... Yes, I have an internet filter. But what if I am no longer around to guard my children. Will they be able to resist the temptations? I hope so.

My older boy who is turning 12 years old this Oct said that he does have "those thoughts". He handles it the way I have taught him. He has victories in his thought life.

My younger boy will be turning 7 years old this Nov said that he does have "those thoughts" and dreams. He admits that he struggles, with a look tinged with guilt. I almost fell from my chair but I was so calm and cool that even my freezer will be proud.

I know that in Bangkok, there are many pornographic printed materials. Its free and readily available at shopping complexes and hotels. Its very small and easily hidden in pockets. I know he has taken some without my knowledge and this curious little boy has exposed himself to pornographic materials out of curiosity.

My goodness, what do I do?

Pornographic images stays in the mind - almost forever...

I helped him the way I knew best. Prayer. Its a very different type of prayer... prayer of deliverance. A type of prayer I have used for my children, myself and even friends and family members.

I also know that the bible says ...

Ephesians 6:12:

12 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places

After the prayer of deliverance, he said that he felt much better and that all those pictures in his mind was all gone!  Praise the Lord!

You can take authority over demonic powers over your children's lives too, today.

BTW, if you want to know how to do it, drop me a note and I will teach you how.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Children Are Vulnerable To Secret Sins

I took the opportunity to tell the story of the Pastor from Planetshakers, who admitted to be a porn addict to my children, Joel 11+ and Ethaniel 6+ years old. Its a very important educational lesson.

Eventhough we are homeschoolers, I do not hide my children from the realities that is happening in our world. As what the bible says - temptations, immoralities, lies, deception, covetousness, hate and etc. are among us and its in our every lives.

I cannot hide my children from this fact but I can teach them how to overcome and handle all these situations which they will face from now till the day they die. That's a fact!

Many people are shock that the fallen Pastor was addicted to pornography since the age of 12 years old. His parents are Pastors and there were no pornographic materials in the home, so, where did he get it? The bigger question... How did he manage to hide it?

Its our duty as parents to check on our children. Never fully trust them, for their own sake. Everyone falter sometimes especially when they are starting their journey into adulthood and curiosity. Guidance and wisdom from us are invaluable to these young minds.

I know, I am talking from experience.

Sometimes, if there are intentions to keep a secret sin, they might not reveal. Go to God in prayer and ask God to reveal it to you. God has revealed secret sins in my children's lives and as a result, they have been changed and are receiving daily victories in their lives. It will be too devastating to discover 16 years later that they are bound by addictions which affects their wife, children and community at large.

How about talking to your children today and ask them if they have any struggles which they need help? Judge not but love them to repentance.

That is our duty as parents.

A Reminder To Be Holy

I visited a blog, recently and discovered that a Christian songwriter cum Pastor by the name of Michael Guglielmucci from Planetshakers confessed that he was a porn addict, since the age of 12 years old. Of course, the Christian world was shocked, surprised, saddened, betrayed and etc. by that admission.

He even falsely admitted that he had a terminal cancer.

Many people have joined the bandwagon in criticizing him. Not surprising. Very often that is the first thing Christians do. When they see a brother or sister hurt, they stand by the wayside and starts throwing stones.

I am not saying that this Pastor should not be disciplined or reap some consequences. But sometimes we are so judgemental that nobody dares to come out in the open and be vulnerable enough to ask for help.

I personally do not condone what Pastor Michael has done but I salute him for confessing and repenting to his family, the church and the world at large of his sins. Since nobody knew about his sins, he could have easily checked himself into a rehab centre, churn up another story to say that God has healed his terminal cancer and everything would be fine.

Why did he allowed himself to be judged by the whole world by confessing?

Well, isn't that what real repentance is?

He was not caught, like many people. And then, having no choice... change.

The bible has numerous times reminded us to be pure and holy. Why? Because we are NOT!

This is a great timing and reminder for all of us to check our individual lives.

John 8:7:
They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!”

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Merdeka! Eating! Talking! Hanging!

The Independence Day of Malaysia was celebrated on 31 August.

We, the Malaysians in Bangkok hardly feel the effect... there was no fireworks, no public holiday, its just like any normal day.

Coincidentally, a group of us Malaysians went out for lunch - not to celebrate "Hari Merdeka" but just to hang out, fellowship and of course, eat. The most favorite past time of Malaysians. What a way to celebrate Malaysia's Independence Day.... The Malaysian way.

My friend S told me about this buffet lunch which is on during summer holidays annually. Buy 1 free 1. So, we all went to Amari Atrium along Petchaburi road in Bangkok.

The place is great for parents and children. There are great and various activities catered especially for the children. They could cook pasta, make candy floss, build legos, eat dinosaur candies and a very delicious-every-child's-dream-chocolate-fountain with unlimited flow. Aaarrrggghhh!!! Would have been my ultimate dream - when I was a child. Not anymore. How sad.

Joel was totally exhilarated with the chocolate fountain. Look at that face. Pure joy! Background is Goolypop and Owen. My new blogger friend.

Ethaniel... Oops, I mean Winnie the Pooh

The men busily eating away ....

S, me & SH posing for the camera while waiting for our seats

It was a good weekend because 3 bloggers hung out and met for the first time, Tang, Goolypop & me.

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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

13th Discovery Thailand - Travel Fair

If you like a good deal in hotels and travels, don't miss the following exhibition.

Date: 4-7 Stepember, 2008 (Thu - Sun)

Time: 10am to 9pm

Venue: Queen Sirikit Exhibition Hall, Bangkok

13th Discovery Thailand & Discovery World 2008
Date: 4 - 7 September, 2008
Owner: P.K. Exhibition Management Co., Ltd.
10 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Zone C1-2, Plaza, Atrium

I personally have purchased numerous great deals at this exhibitions!

Happy shopping!

State of Emergency in Bangkok

Since yesterday, the whole of Bangkok has been declared a state of emergency.

The public schools are closed for 3 days.

I have managed to watch the news but unfortunately, cannot really understand what they are saying... its all in Thai.

This is unfortunately not good for tourism. A friend confirmed that about 30 bookings from Japanese has been canceled, last week Friday. Its going to be more with this announcement.

They were also suspecting that the Unions will join in and maybe electricity and water will be cut-off. Panic! Panic! So, I went to Tesco and stocked up on rice, canned food, water and etc.

I can now open my own grocery store with the amount of goods I purchased yesterday.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Mission Trip: One Of The Best Thing About The Trip

We packed some things which we felt would be useful to the Palong village people. - clothes, mosquito netting, toys and etc.

We packed almost 50 pcs of Hotwheel cars, intending to give the children. Other than the toy cars, we purchased some sweets, chocolates, biscuits, etc. at the local stores. The children and I couldn't wait to see the expression on the children's faces when they receive the gifts. It's always exciting to see the joy on those small little faces.

Joel giving away the Hotwheel cars

The young children crowding around Joel and Ethaniel

Even the girl is enjoying the car

The little boy racing with his cars

The Palong village has a Hostel which is located 20 minutes from the village. The Hostel is within walking distance of their school. There are about 15 children, boys and girls, ranging from 7 to 14 yeras old. We will be going there later.

At the Hostel, Hadasah cooked a delicious dinner and after that, we were excited to be able to distribute some toys for the girls and the Hotwheel cars to the boys.

According to Hadasah, during the night, the boys were still playing with the toy cars and was having difficult sleeping because of the excitement. They were "driving" their cars on the bamboo floor - which makes a lot of noise. So Hadasah threatened to take away their toys. So, they slept in a jiffy!

The next day when they came back from school, without even taking their shower, they busied themselves playing the toy cars!

Joel and Ethaniel giving away toys to both the girls and boys

Everyone happy to receive their toys

The children and I were so glad that what we brought to these children were totally enjoyed. Oooo... such a satisfying feeling....

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Monday, September 1, 2008

What Does He Really Want To Do?

We discovered a frozen lizard in the freezer today. Incidentally, Joel saw the lizard running into the freezer and closed the door.

Ethaniel was saddened by the frozen, hardened and dead lizard.

Ethaniel: Lord, we pray that you make the lizard become alive again. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

After waiting 4 seconds.

Ethaniel: It's not alive. Its frozen still.

Me: You really want it to become alive?

Ethaniel: Yes. I want it as a pet.

Joel: That will be scary if it actually comes back to live!

Ethaniel continues to poke the lizard with a pencil. And more chatting between Joel and Ethaniel.

Joel: Turn the lizard around so that it will run to you when it becomes alive. Since you prayed for it to resurrect. *cheeky smile*

Horror look on Ethaniel's face.

Ethaniel: If we defroze it, will it become alive again? If we cut it up... maybe we can see if it has eggs inside?

Joel: How if we cut you up and see if you have some eggs inside.

Ethaniel: No. *innocent look* See I don't have eggs *lifting up his t-shirt to prove his point*

Ethaniel looked at me with sad eyes and said...

"So poor thing, ......"

"Can we cut it up and cook it... maybe boil it and make a fire and burn it up. What do you think huh, Koh Koh (Joel)?"

Honestly, I was confused between his compassion and sadistic behaviour towards the lizard.