Girls’ afternoon out

Was an unplanned but nice afternoon out with my mum and my sister last Monday. I think the last time I shopped with my mum was for maternity clothes when I was expecting Daniel! Since Daniel came, there isn’t much opportunity to shop together cos either one of us will have to look after Daniel. And it’s not nice to ask my in-laws to look after him while we take off for shopping! We have shopped with him ….but that’s very very different!

Anyway, after our families came back from the Port Dickson trip which we had to miss because of Daniel’s illness (turns out he had a viral infection called Roseola), they were all anxious to visit him on Monday. Went for lunch together with my parents, in-laws and Pris and decided that I would go down to my in-law’s for the day and have dinner there. Since my father-in-law was on leave that day and around to help look after Daniel, I decided to take the opportunity to visit my grandma and do some shopping after being cooped up at home/hotel for the whole of the last week.

My mum and sis wanted to join me. We visited Mama at the nursing home first. She was quite lively that afternoon. Was ‘beating’ our hand for fun!

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Pink crocs which uncle got for her!

Pink crocs which uncle got for her!

After that, we went to Parkway and spent a leisurely few hours there. Have almost forgotten the kind of shopper my mum is …. taking time to slowly look and check out every corner in the store ….the opposite of me – just zoom in, scan and zoom out if there is nothing. I am the ‘chop chop’ shopper while she is the meticulous shopper. And she often just ‘disappears’ into the racks and we have to look everywhere in the store before we find her!

We also had coffee and tea and did some girly coffee shop talk! Fruitful afternoon, not because I bought a lot of stuff, but because it was spent with family.

Kid’s Prayer

Was praying for Daniel and this song came to mind. First heard it when I attended Children’s Church with Daniel. It was one of the songs they often sing for the combined worship with the older class. This song never fails to move me and bring tears to my eyes every time I listen to it. It is my prayer not just for Daniel, but for myself too.

Kid’s Prayer (I love You Jesus)

Dear God,
thank you for loving me,and giving me your all.
When I grow up,I will still be serving you.
I want to know you more, I want to love you more.
I’ll never forget you,Lord.
In Jesus’ name,amen.

I want to know You Lord 
You are a great big God 
I’m young and do not know a lot 
Come and be my all 
I want to Love You more 
Giving you my life and all 
You die for me you’ve sacrificed. 
I won’t forget You Lord 

I love You Jesus 
I will grow up knowing you 
I love You Jesus 
I will grow up serving you 
I love You Jesus 
My life is saved by you 

I will never forget never forget,
I will grow up knowing you

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Yze_cczb84

Hazy days

This week, we are in the midst of a national crisis. We saw the worst haze ever, with PSI hitting unprecedented level of 400 today!

Seems like this school holiday has been quite an indoor one for me. Last week, during camp, we were cooped up in the hotel as Daniel was unwell. This week, because of the haze, we are stuck indoors too. Lots of family bonding time together at home! Have to think of interesting things to do at home. Cooking is my latest hobby! I like to go out, so kind of not used to being stuck at home. But so far, it has been pretty enjoyable. Daniel does not seem to mind staying at home very much. Some of the activities he does at home: playing with his toys, puzzles, colouring and watching Chuggington videos.

Really praying that the haze will clear up soon. And may the Lord’s wisdom and grace be upon our dear government as they navigate our nation through this difficult time. May the Lord strengthen them and give them courage to bear the pressures and expectations as they act on behalf of the people. I pray that they will lead and make decisions with wisdom and a heart of love for the people of this nation. We will get through this!

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Church Camp 2013

This year’s church camp was rather different for us. Different because we had to care for a sick toddler! I think one of the saddest things to happen is when a child is sick during a family holiday. Anyway, despite Daniel being sick, church camp 2013 turned out well for us 🙂 Praise God!!

It started at 3 am the morning we were going for camp. He was sleeping with us that night. I felt he was hot and woke up to take his temperature. My heart sank. He was running a fever of about 38 degrees. Gave him medicine, but fever still on the next day. Rushed to the PD before going to meet our cell to drive in to JB. As Daniel only had fever and no other symptoms, the doctor just told us to monitor and gave us some medicine to standby.

Met our cell and had a smooth drive to JB. Traffic was quite ok and we were at our lunch stop by 1pm. Had lunch at Ah Khoong Yong Tau Hu at Jln Sutera. My first time there. Food was yummy! Love the fishcakes especially.

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Proceeded to the hotel after lunch but had to wait a while for our rooms. Daniel was running a fever and were so thankful to the camp committee who managed to give us our room earlier. Managed to put Daniel for his nap after which the rest of the cell came to our room to play card games while waiting for their rooms. Had a fun time 🙂

Daniel’s fever persisted throughout the camp and in fact only came down at the end of the camp! On the second and third day it hit a high of 39.4 degrees. And to make matters worse, he refused medicine. We whipped out every trick we could think of to cajole him into taking his medicine. It was exhausting. Eventually, Ivan mastered the art of holding him down and forcing the medicine down. He would be wailing so much after that that I was worried our neighbours would think there was child abuse going on in our room!!

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In room dining

In room dining

Am thankful we managed to stay through the whole camp. There were times I really felt like going back, especially the second night when the fever stayed stubbornly at 39 degrees for sometime. That night, I hardly slept as I lay in bed worrying and praying for him. Was it dengue? What was causing this persistent high fever with no other symptoms? That night I also had a mild taste of the heartaches that parents go through when a child is sick.

Between the both of us, we managed to attend most of the sessions. Enjoyed the ministry of Pst Nicky Raiborde and Dr Dale Fife, whose messages really flowed with each other’s. Felt challenged to see myself and others the way God sees and to continually press in for renewal of mind. I personally still have strongholds of the mind that I know need to be torn down. Pastor Dale Fife’s sharing on incubation and how the warmth of the body of Christ helps provide a suitable climate for us to develop our potential also resounded with me. Really thankful for my cell member Anne who would send us summaries at the end of every session so that we would still be able to get the essence of what was shared for the sessions we missed. Would have to get the recording for Pst Yang’s session. Was sitting outside while the session was ending after a tiring night with Daniel and was touched by the presence of the Lord.

Really felt the warmth of the spiritual family during this camp. Cell group was really fantastic. Appreciate so much the fellowship and fun we had together – bonding over meals, helping to chope seats, attending sessions together, girls’ manicure session, guys’ guitar session, late night fellowship at the lovely gym (which I missed cos I did not bring my shoes). Also, appreciate them for supporting us while we had to care for Daniel. They arranged meeting times, organised meals, da paoed dinner for us when we were stuck in our hotel room, sent session summaries and popped by our room to visit us and Daniel. Considering that Daniel had fever throughout the camp, we were still able to not miss out too much largely because of them. Thankful for my sister who helped us too.

Camp this year was certainly an interesting and great experience. Went back with a deeper appreciation of my spiritual family.

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Bubble Legendary

We brought Daniel to watch a bubble show last Saturday at the Festive Grand Theatre.

We got to know about it while they were doing a promo for the show at Downtown East two weeks ago. We thought that some of the bubble stuff they were doing during the promo was pretty cool and decided to get tickets for the show. Daniel loves bubbles and we thought he would enjoy it. After seeing the short performance at Downtown East, he was going on and on about ‘Bubble uncle’ for the whole week.

Overall, it was pretty good entertainment, especially for the kids. There were lots of kids at the show. Lots of laser lights too and of course amazing stuff done with the bubbles by the father and son team – Fan Yang and Deni Yang. Quite fascinating. Think it is pretty cool to be able to do a show on making  bubbles.

Not allowed to take photos during the show, so only managed to get a few shots at the end of the show.

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Thoughts on getting a degree

Recently, there has been some discussion after some ministers commented that Singaporeans do not need to have a degree in order to be successful. At home, there was also some discussion at our family dinner table. I listened with some interest but did not give it much thought as to me I understood what the minister was trying to say – that it is possible for one to have a successful career in Singapore without a degree and having a degree does not guarantee success. And, I do agree with that.

Last week, after a conversation with a colleague over a lunch meeting, I felt myself being challenged in my beliefs concerning having a degree. She was sharing with us about her eldest son who just started his career as a chef. He did his A levels and did not go on to get a degree even though he could. He wanted to pursue his dream of being a chef. She shared that initially, her husband was appalled of the idea that their son is not going to the university and against it. However, she supported him. He was interested in a degree in culinary skills offered by SIT, however, one of the criteria is that work experience is required. Hence, he started work as a kitchen help, and he showed much potential and was given many opportunities. Currently, he is given the opportunity to assist at a Michelin star restaurant and has abandoned the plan of taking the degree in SIT as he is doing well and need not go that path.

In today’s context, the idea that your child does not have a degree or at least a diploma would not sit well with many parents. In the course of counselling students, I often have students express sadness that they have interests like art/writing novels/music which their parents do not really support. As a hobby or CCA, yes but more than that …. a degree takes precedence. Hence, I was actually in admiration that my colleague actually supported her child to pursue his dreams even though it meant he would not take the conventional degree/diploma route. She said that she saw how since young, he was very interested in cooking and baking and would come up with interesting dishes for the family. Once, he baked a cheesecake which her colleagues loved and raved about. And as it turns out, he is doing well now …..well on his way to becoming someone accomplished in his field and happy doing what he loves.

I wondered what my response would have been if I was in her position. And to be honest, I am not sure. As parents, all of us want our children to do well in school. I realised that I still place a great amount of security in taking the conventional route. There is some sense of security in having paper qualification. My response I figure would be closer to that of her husband, though I will eventually be won over if I see that my child is really passionate, knows what he is doing and has a plan.

I also thought about this in relation to my job as a counsellor. Career counselling is something I find fascinating and empowering. Finding a good career match – a job that suits your interests/strengths/values/personality is so much linked to our destiny. Doing what we enjoy, do best and functioning effectively. Yet, often, it is a journey of self-discovery and sometimes, it takes time to explore and find out what we are good at and what we like to do.

I feel that the essence of it should not be chasing paper qualifications for the sake of doing so but that paper qualifications are just a stepping stone, which may or may not be necessary depending on one’s career goals. Definitely, I see much value in education and in getting a degree and would encourage every child/student to study as much as he is able to. In fact, I am also for post-graduate studies in the spirit of lifelong learning. I enjoyed my university days immensely – it was a time of great intellectual stimulation. I am not really that smart and I often thank the Lord for His goodness towards me, how he allowed me to pursue my university education.

Through education, our mental faculties are stretched and we pick up important skills which prepare us for our future vocation so one extent or another. Through education, many doors of opportunities are opened as well. Education must not become merely a pursuit of  paper qualification. Pragmatism does dictate that we need some sort of paper qualification to get a job, but paper qualification must not be an end in itself. If getting a degree or doing post-graduate studies help in our self-development and career advancement, why not? If it is not necessary for us to achieve success in our field, no need to get one for the sake of getting.

Disappointing Kite Festival

We went to check out the Kite Festival held at the Tampines open field last Sunday. We were hoping to catch some nice kite displays and to be able to fly our kites too. We sensed something was amiss as we were driving towards the place. Usually, you would be able to see many kites in the area for a distance, however, that evening, the sky was almost empty except for a few kites which were barely visible. The place was crowded as usual, but we also noticed many people going off, though it was quite early in the evening. We soon understood why.

There was hardly any wind and difficult to get the kites up. Even if they did go up, they could not go up very high.

We waited for a while, hoping that it would get windy enough for the kites to go up. However, after waiting for about an hour under the blazing heat, we decided to leave.

The only consolation was that we managed to catch a beautiful rainbow which appeared for a while. And a chance to snap some shots with our new camera.

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