Friday, December 29, 2006

Christmas Gift 2006

Since I joined Bandar Utama Chapel, I have been making Christmas gifts for almost everyone in the church. I still remember the first gift I made – a little booklet with Words of Wisdom. The cover was red with a green ribbon. In subsequent years, I have made bookmarks, boxes of God’s promises, calendars on wooden cloth pegs (2004), etc. Because of my pregnancy and the birth of Jordan, last year was the only year I didn’t make any gift. Instead, I ordered handmade notebooks with a personalised message in each of them. My sis and my friend Queenie helped me to glue the message onto the notebook.

This year, the gift was partially bought and handmade. I ordered the cut-outs for the boxes which were folded by my Mum, sis, bro and Lu Kenn. I bought 500 pieces of batik-printed paper cranes which were folded in the origami style. On the cover of each box, I stamped a picture of 2 hearts, and stuck 3 stars. Inside the cover, the message reads:


Taste and see that the
LORD is good;
(Psalm 34:8)
Mercy, peace and love
be yours in abundance.
(Jude 1:2)
Blessed Christmas &
Happy New Year
Seng Chor, Christine & Jordan.

The following are what I placed inside each box:

2 sweets – Taste and see that the LORD is good;
3 cranes (1 big and 2 smaller ones) – Representing Mercy, peace and love. The biggest crane represents love.

The cranes represent goodwill in the Chinese custom.
I pray that each one of you will be blessed by this gift.

Blessed Christmas and Happy New Year 2007 to all!


The Gift



Thursday, December 28, 2006

Christmas Community Carnival

Our Bandar Utama Chapel Game Stalls - most well decorated.
One of the games was featured in the Star (Metro) newspaper yesterday - 27 December 2006.

My Growth Group's game - "Egg in the Hole".

There were coloured holes on the egg tray - 1 black on each tray, and a few green and red holes. Each person is given 3 ping-pong balls for 1 game token. If the ball enters a black hole, the player gets 3 points. Green or red gains 1 point. They can then use the points to redeem their prizes.
There was a long queue for this game. We had to close the stall earlier because we ran out of tokens. The poster was drawn by my sis. Well done, to all my GG members.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

It's a Miracle!

The Christmas theme - It's a Miracle!

"Jordan, look here."



The manger.

Christmas tree. What else? *duh*

The three wise men, Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus.



" Blessed Christmas!"


Mum, sis Eva and Jordan.



The door gift - handmade bookmarks by Seng Chor's Growth Group.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

I won a hamper? *pooph*

On Christmas Day, while most of my church members were at the Christmas Community Carnival at Kota Damansara, I had to baby sit at home. It was a tiring day. After lunch, Jordan was a bit restless. I think he was looking for his Daddy. Whenever he wants to sleep, he seems to look for his Daddy. I tried to make him sleep but he just kept on crying. In the end, we (my Mum, sis and I) took him to the carnival. He slept in the car on the way there. On arrival, Seng Chor came to the car to carry him. He woke up and was happy to see his Daddy. Seng Chor carried him all over the place. After getting some food, we left.

At night, we (Seng Chor, Mum, Jordan and I) had a sumptuous Christmas dinner at Uncle Soon Thye and Aunty Lai Hong’s house. It was one of the best Christmas dinner I ever had – roast lamb, turkey, grilled fish, prawn kebab, fried chicken, fried rice, noodles, special salad, ice kacang (it was finished before I could even lick it!), spaghetti, … I had so much that I couldn’t sleep well last night. We were also entertained by a group of carolers. We also celebrated Aunty Lim’s 86th birthday. She was happy to see Jordan.

There was another reason why I couldn’t sleep – I won a hamper and I lost it at the same time. During the carnival, I registered for the lucky draw. At the dinner, Aunty Sue told me the bad news – “You won a hamper”. I didn’t believe her. I thought that she was pulling my legs. I fell into her trap before. It seems that they called my name a few times. Then, Aunty Sue pushed Wan Yi to collect on behalf of me. When Wan Yi went up to them, they asked for my ic number but Wan Yi doesn’t know. So, I lost the hamper. *SIGH* AARGH! It was quite a big hamper as it was towards the end of the lucky draw. Three other church members also won – Ming Han, Xian Jiek, Sebastian (he was not there to collect too). Seng Chor should have stayed a little bit longer. Aiya! Well, the comforting thought is that - I have blessed someone else through my absence. :p

Short, simple and sweet

Friday (22 December 2006)
I was on medical leave – down with viral infection that causes stomach ache. So, rested the whole day.

Saturday (23 December 2006)
I wanted to drop by at the KBU Christmas carnival but I was still feeling weak. In the morning, Seng Chor went jungle trekking at Bukit Gasing with his ex-colleagues. I had to baby-sit with Mum. At night, Mum, Seng Chor, Jordan and I went to Tesco for groceries and dinner. Stomach felt better.

Sunday (Christmas Eve)
9 – 10 am: Congregational worship; followed by Christmas Eve lunch in the church. The theme was “It’s a Miracle!” About 100 people turned out. Food was catered from Loong Foong restaurant – not too bad. Glad that Mum and sis came. Seng Chor was the master of ceremony. Hmm… not an experienced one, though. Good effort for the first time. Our Growth Group (GG) gave out bookmarks sewn with the words “It’s a Miracle!” – all hand made by some of the members including Seng Chor. I think he even sewed more than me! That’s how we have been spending our nights in December – sewing and babysitting at the same time. On some nights, we took turns – one sews, the other baby sits. Jordan must have felt neglected sometimes. We let him play by himself in the playpen most of the time. Our chief designer was none other than our beloved Aunty Sue. She puts in the most effort with the final ‘magical’ touch on all the bookmarks. God bless her richly. Altogether we had about 180 bookmarks. The GG’s bookmarks were specially made by Aunty Sue – rainbow colour. Heeheehee!

Christmas Eve Dinner cum Gift Exchange. The usual gang gathered in our house at about 7 pm. We had a very simple dinner – Dominoes pizza, potatoes salad and special dessert by Lu Kenn and Eva. Then, the fun part began – gift exchange. For the last 2 years, we bade for our own gift using Monopoly money. The highest bidder gets the gift. This year, our creative guy Kevin suggested something different – each person selects someone to give the gift. The person acts like a guardian angel for that special someone. Kenny took the lead to coordinate. Below is extracted from his email:

“This year, let's try something different ... here is the list of people coming. Please select one person for whom you would like to buy a present. It is on a first come, first served basis (hehe). Please reply to me (as it is supposed to be a secret whom you are buying a gift for). I will let you know if the person has been selected already. Please keep it to yourselves too . :)”

When we were preparing the gift, we just wrote to whom it is for. We did not state who it is from. However, some of us wrote clues as to who the giver is and the recipient has to guess.

Kenny distributed the gift to everyone. For those with clues, we read the clues first, guessed, then opened the gift. The rest had to guess after the gift is opened. The guessing part was really fun. Some were really creative in presenting their clues. One of the clues is “Who wants you to be fatter?” Hahaha! Here is the list of who got what and from whom.

Seng Chor – voucher from Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf from Kevin
Christine – Keyboard brush from Kenny
Jordan – Long sleeves shirt from Lu Kenn
My Mum – blue coloured scarf with sequins from Jordan
Eva – Towel from my Mum
Lu Kenn – miniature golf set from Eva
Alex – Pen from Sahaya
Yoke Kheng – Cloth to make Sari from Pei Lu
Kenny – T-Shirt from Yoke Kheng
Kevin – Multi-purpose knife from Alex
Sahaya – Chocolates from Seng Chor
Yung Ling – Light-up Christmas ornament from Christine
Pei Lu – Book from Yung Ling

At the end, we took a picture holding our gift. It was a short, simple and sweet event.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Carolling at Bukit Beruntung

Last night, 10 (6 gals and 4 guys) of us sang carols at four different places at Bukit Beruntung. Dress code – white blouse/T-shirt and Santa hat for the ladies. We left Centrepoint at about 7 pm, and reached the first house at about 7:30 pm. We were half an hour late.

First stop: Home of the handicapped children
We visit them every year. Some of these children were abandoned by their parents. It’s wonderful to bring the Christmas cheer into the home. We prayed for them, and presented them with some groceries, distributed candy canes and snacks to the children.

Second: “Chicken Little’s” house
Whenever I look at Shin Peng aka Chicken Little, I think of Jordan. They have similar look especially the chubby cheek. Here, we sang to 4 of them only. As we were rushing, we were there for about 15 minutes only. Furthermore, we had to wait for this Couple for a few minutes before we could start. Terrible, lah. :)

Third: Mr and Mrs Loke’s groceries shop
This is my first time in their shop. Good to see them again. Their children – Simone and Nicky were there too. One of the kids there even took a video of us performing. After the singing, Mrs Loke offered us packet drinks from her shop. I had the refreshing apple juice.

Fourth and Last: Suet Li’s house.
Since this is the last stop, we sang all the songs – Joy to World, Angels We have Heard on High, O Holy Night, The Gift (Mandarin song), Christmas isn’t Christmas, Jingle Bells, We Wish You a Merry Christmas. Ah Siang (Suet Li’s mum) cooked Tom Yam fried noodles and red bean soup for us. She also made jelly. Yummy! So nice of her. The carollers had a good time eating and fellowshipping. The lovely couple was rather entertaining/amusing too. We had a group photo after that.

I arrived home at about 10:50 pm. Took my shower and waited for Jordan and Seng Chor to come back. They were at the Wongs’ preparing the Christmas gifts. On seeing me, Jordan kept on wanting me to carry him. He must have missed me. I miss him too. Seng Chor had to soothe him for awhile before he was willing to sleep.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Busy, busy Weekend

Seng Chor and I took leave on Jordan’s birthday – 14 December 2006. We spent most of the time staying at home. After lunch, we went to KLIA to pick up my Mum – Jordan’s grandma aka Popo. Jordan slept on the way there. He woke up when we arrived at the airport. On the way home, he didn’t sleep. Played with Popo. Popo was making some funny noises. Jordan smiled.

It was raining heavily. So, we didn’t go out until dinner time. At 6:30 pm, we went to Bangsar Village for dinner at Fish & Co – Seng Chor, Popo, Alex, Jordan and I. I had to collect some stuffs from a friend there. Our initial plan was Japanese food at Damansara Palm Springs. Jordan had some fish too. He didn’t really take his cereal. Poor him – I accidentally dropped him onto the floor while he was trying to wriggle away from me. He cried a bit only. Thank God didn’t knock his head – I was still holding him. It was not very high. I was sitting and he was lying on my lap, and suddenly he slipped away and fell. He probably got a shock, and cried.

We reached home before 9 pm. He had his milk and waited for his Khai Ma (Tracy) to come. She arrived about 9:30 pm. Then, we sang the birthday song, blew the candle and cut the Winnie the Pooh Jelly cake.

Three of us – Popo, Tracy and I, had a good time playing with Jordan. He was crawling around the living room, smiling, imitating us as we stamped our feet and shook our heads. We wanted to get him to say “ten”. Eventually, he did. Tracy held both hands out to him. He hit her hands and said “ten”. Then, my mum and I followed. He was a bit confused and didn’t know which hands to hit. Hahaha. He repeated the action few times. It was really fun to see him enjoying himself.

I had a busy weekend because of the College Open Day. Had to work from 10 am to 6 pm on Saturday. Then, 1 – 6 pm on Sunday, after church. It was pretty quiet in the College – not much enquiries. :( Not good. Hopefully, registration will improve. The next intake commences on 8 January 2007. I will be teaching C++ programming again for the Year 1 students, who will be in the second term.

On Friday night, Seng Chor and I attended his colleagues’ wedding dinner at Chuei Heng Restaurant, Old Klang Road. So, Jordan stayed overnight at the babysitter. Seng Chor picked him after 1 pm, and took him to College to visit me. Later, Seng Chor took him for a swing at the playground.

After the birthday celebration on Saturday, Seng Chor and I had fun time taking out all his gifts. Jordan was sleeping upstairs while all of us (Seng Chor, my mum, Eva, Alex, Lu Kenn and I) admired his presents one after the other. I took pictures of all the gifts – before and after opening them. Hahaha! He can’t play with all of them yet. So, the parents can play first. Will give him one at a time – so that he doesn’t get bored easily.

He has been ‘talking’ a lot for the past 2 days. Very funny indeed. None of us understood his jargon. Yesterday, he started to play with his new toys. He was really busy with them. We played along with him – trying to teach him how to put the blocks in the right place. He was quite amused with the spinning gears in the activity board.

Yesterday, in the church, he clapped along as we sang the song Ancient of Days. He stood on the chair and clapped together with us. It was a lovely sight indeed. As usual, a lot of people carried him – especially the youth. After church, Seng Chor took him along for the Christmas Carnival leaflet distribution at Kota Damansara. Jordan was in the car with some of the youth. It was quite hot actually. He took a short nap. Later in the afternoon, my mum played with him while Seng Chor took a nap. He was still playing when I reached home. It was truly a joy to see him after a hard day at work.

One year is over. More challenges and fun time ahead with Jordan.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Jordan's 1st Birthday

From Left: Winnie the Pooh, Jordan and I.


Hmm...what's so interesting up there?


Jordan's favourite thing - his thumb.


More photos in Jordan's blog.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

First Photos of my Little Prince

Jordan's First Photo.

First Photo of Jordan and I.



Jordan's Second Photo.

Last day at the hospital.

First Photo at Home - in his cot.

First Photo of Jordan and Daddy.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The Birth of Jordan

One more day…actually less than a day, my precious baby Jordan will be One year old. Time just zooms by super fast. Last year, during this time I was still very heavy with Jordan. The gynae gave me 2 options – induce for normal delivery or caesarean. Chances of normal delivery are slim. After a short discussion with Seng Chor, we opted for caesarean, which according to the gynae is a better option. No stress for the baby and I.

Tuesday, 13 December 2006, night, I was actually leaking slightly but I ignored it. About 7 am the next day, Seng Chor and I left for the hospital for the scheduled caesarean at about 10 am something. I checked into a double bed room. I wanted a single bed but none available. In the room, I told the nurse about my leakage and she sort of scolded me for not coming to the hospital the night before. Thank God that Jordan was alright.

After the preliminary procedures, I was wheeled into the operation theatre at about 10 am. I was injected with epidural – an anesthetic put into the lower part of the back so that no pain is felt below the waist. That means I was fully conscious when Jordan was pulled out by the doctor. Seng Chor was inside the operation theatre with me. So, I asked him to describe what the doctor was doing – cutting me up, pulling Jordan out and sewing me back – lots of blood. *Eeek*. I heard a soft cry when Jordan was pulled out – 10:23 am. He weighed 3.625 kg = 8 pounds, 50 cm in length and his head circumference measured 34.5 cm.

The nurses cleaned him up before showing him to Seng Chor and I. He looked so much like his Daddy. He was a big baby. Then, Seng Chor left as the gynae continued to stitch me up. The stitching took quite long because he had to stitch layer by layer – our skin has multiple layers.

After the procedure, I was moved back to the room, and waited for Jordan. The pediatrician was attending him. I just couldn’t wait to hold him in my arms. Then, the moment finally arrived. He’s so adorable. I gave him my first kiss. Then, I started to breastfeed him. It was difficult at first because I couldn’t really move much. Gradually, I was able to handle him better. I was in the hospital for 4 days, 3 nights. During the time he was away from me, I missed him so much. After 2 days, I was able to walk slowly to see him at the nursery.

He was a healthy baby. He had mild jaundice but because he was a big baby, there was no cause for concern. We were both discharged on Saturday, 17 December 2006.

More on the birth of Jordan…coming soon

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Lunch with PM…almost

Last Thursday (7 December 2006) I attended the MSC-Asia Pacific ICT Awards Presentation ceremony and lunch at the Palace of the Golden Horses Hotel. The MSC-APICTA provides a platform to simulate creativity, innovation and excellence in ICT in Malaysia, benchmark Malaysian ICT product and solution, and recognizes outstanding achievement in ICT.

The ceremony was officiated by YAB Dato’ Seri Abdullah Hj Ahmad Badawi, our Prime Minister. Because he had another lunch appointment elsewhere, he arrived later to present the Prime Minister’s “Best of the Best” Award. It’s a privilege to see him for the first time – in person. Obviously, he looks exactly like he’s on the television or newspaper but the feeling is different. I was pretty excited actually and almost couldn’t stop taking pictures of him. :p. The pictures are not very clear though – better than nothing. Some of the shots are below. I had an up-close view of him after the event. I was coming out from the ladies as he passed by with his entourage. He was just a few feet away from me!

Ok, why was I at the event? An Engineering final year project from my College has won the Merit Award in the Best of Tertiary Student Project – Software / Hardware category. The title of their project is Mobile Parking and Verification System. The project enhances the traditional parking system by allowing motorists to use their mobile phones/PDA for parking payment. Enforcement officers can use its real-time online payment verification system to validate the parking payment. Sounds cool? The system was developed by a group of 4 students from the BEng (Hons) Electrical and Electronics Final Year. Well done! They did the College proud with the achievement.

Two years ago, my brother’s group project has also won the same award. They developed a smart home system which can be controlled through the Internet and mobile phone. To demonstrate the functions, they built a small wooden house with some rooms – with lights, fan, temperature sensor, shock sensor and alarm. I like the house – not sure where it is now. It reminds me of a doll house that I have always wanted. That year, only my Head of School attended the event. This year, five of us went including our CEO. I didn’t enjoy the lunch much. Just glad that I got invited to witness the award presentation.



From Left: Dato’ Sri Dr. Jamaludin Dato’ Mohd Jarjis (Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation.), Prime Minister and YB Dato’ Sri Dr Lim Keng Yaik (Minister of Energy, Water and Communications).

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Happy Family

Taken at Tai Pak's 70th Birthday Celebration
(18 November 2006)

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Interesting Comment

This ‘exchange of words’ happened after dinner outside the Triple Round Chinese Restaurant at Bukit Beruntung on 3 December 2006. It was almost 9:30 pm – very dark. We had KidsGames before that. (Note: These are not the exact words.)

CPL: Let’s take a photo.

SHY: What? Here? Then, cannot see me.


On the way back to Bandar Utama,…

CPL: I was really surprised when SHY said cannot see him. Didn’t expect him to say that. Hahaha!

(Witnessed by The Inspired Educator and Dr Cabokia)


Both witnesses find the comment refreshing.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Birthday Blessings

Papa and Mama
Dr Cabo, wishing you a Very Happy Birthday n Numerous Happy Returns of the Day. Have a wonderful time. Affectionately, Ma & Pa.

Yoke Lai
Happy birthday to you and may God bless you and your family forever

Yoke Kheng
Just dropped by to say Blessed Birthday, Christine!

Kenny
Chirp Chirp. A little birdy told me it was your birthday. Happy bird day. Haha. God bless you Christine.

Pei Lu
Hi dear sister, may you be blessed as you wake up in the beautiful morning on your special day! Blessed Birthday!

The Chans - Selvi, Roy & Reuel
Christine, we wish you a happy and blessed birthday! Psalms 16:5-6. Much love, the Chans.
Psalm 16:5-6 (New International Version)
5 LORD, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure.
6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.

Yoke Teen & Nai Kyn
A very happy and blessed birthday to you! May God continue to bless you with every spiritual blessings and goodness in your life. God bless. From NK and YT.

Helen, Charmaine & Seb
A very happy and blessed birthday to you.

The Wongs
A happy and blessed birthday to you, love from us all.

Jenny
Blessed birthday.

Hui En
Happy Birthday Aunty Christine. Hope you have a wonderful day today. Enjoy your first birthday as a mum! God bless, n take care!

Li Yuan
Hi..tang sao..liyuan here...Happy birthday…Wish you all the best through this year…

Call from Susan
Happy birthday, Christine….

Email from my brother, Felix:
Hi Sis!
Happy Birthday! GOod health and wealth to all of u. Hope u have a great bday! See you soon.
Bro

A Hallmark E-Card from Mama & Papa:
Message:
Dearest daughter drCabokia, here’s wishing you a Very Happy Birthday and may you have Many many Happy Returns of this Day! May God shower you and your loved ones with many many more Blessings now and forever more. Good health, Good Luck and Eternal Prosperity be yours always. Have a great time today! Mama and Papa.
Card:
God gives us lots of reasons to celebrate…
…and your birthday is one of the best!
Happy Birthday!

A DaySpring E-Card from Romayne:
Message: May God shower you with his blessings today!
Card:
Just think…
You are not here by chance, but by God’s choosing.
His hand formed you and made you the person you are.
He compares you to no one else - You are one of a kind.
You lack nothing that His grace can’t give you.
He has allowed you to be here at this time in history to fulfill His special purpose for this generation

Happy Birthday.

================================================

Thank you all for showering me with wonderful blessings!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Birthday Dinner at Prince Hotel

On my birthday, I spent almost the whole day babysitting as Seng Chor had to invigilate a professional examination. It was a good time with Jordan. Changed him, fed him, bathed him and played with him. Seng Chor came back in the evening. About 6:45 pm, we left for Prince Hotel. The booking was at 7:30 pm – we arrived on time. The venue – Taishojin (Japanese cuisine). He booked the whole restaurant! Eh…actually we were the only customers there. So, it feels like as if we booked the whole restaurant. The rest were chefs, waiters and waitresses. I thought we were going to have Western food because that’s what we usually have for celebration. This is a second surprise. The first surprise is the booking.

I ordered smoked salmon, and Seng Chor had cod fish. I had my favorite Californian Roll and Miso soup. For dessert, I ordered Green Tea ice cream. I enjoyed the ice cream so much that I forgot to give some to Seng Chor. Oops! He sort of complained about it after the dinner. Ha! Ha! Ha! I really, really forgot about him. For Jordan, he had some rice and fish. He behaved well throughout the dinner. This is one of the rare occasions where Seng Chor and I could actually sat down quietly to finish a dinner. Jordan was sitting on the stroller the whole time. Guess what? The restaurant even provided babysitting facilities. Hee! Hee! One of the waitresses likes Jordan so much, that she carried him away, as he was making noises towards the end of the dinner. He played with the other waiters and waitresses as well. This boy of ours goes to anyone. Dangerous, eh? Good also as we can get anyone to baby sit him. As we were leaving the restaurant, Seng Chor wanted to carry him back, he refused and turned away! What a naughty boy is he! I think he can just follow the waitress home. Aiyo! In the end, he allowed Seng Chor to carry him.

The dinner was 50% off because we are members of the Prince Hotel & Residence Club – buy 1 free 1. So, the bill was reasonable. I enjoyed the atmosphere. Good service - well...we were the only customers. :) The night ended with shopping at 1 Utama – just bought some magazines at MPH.

Once again, another memorable birthday celebration. Thanks Seng Chor, and thanks to baby Jordan for behaving well.

tai sho jin japanese restaurant


Saturday, December 02, 2006

My Birthday

Today is my birthday. How young am I? Eh...I'm in my mid-thirties. Surprise? How do I feel? I think I'm proud of my age, with all the experiences that I've been through and countless blessings from God. Today is the first time I celebrate my birthday with my baby Jordan. Got a surprise from Seng Chor - he has booked dinner at Prince Hotel, KL. :)

I would like to thank my family and friends for all their birthday wishes and blessings.

I thank God for watching over me all these years, and never let me go.


...'Give thanks to the Lord;
His faithful love endures forever!'"

2 Chronicles 20:21 (New Living Translation)

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Happy 29th Birthday

Today my brother Felix celebrates his 29th birthday. He is currently studying MBA in New York, U.S. He is also a part-time chef at a Teppanyaki Japanese Restaurant. He is skillful in handling the cutlery. I have seen a video of him cooking and performing the stunts at the same time - throwing and catching the knife at various angle. Cool! He can do break dancing as well.


Happy Birthday to you!
Happy Birthday to you!
Happy Birthday to Felix!
Happy Birthday to you!


May God bless him -
his studies, his work and his walk with the Lord.
May he experiences God more and more each day.

Quote of the Month (November)


"I have never been to a McDonald's party in 34 years."


Shydoc
(34 years old)

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

My Top 10 Games

(10) Rummikub
Rummikub is a tile-based game for two, three or four players. It won the 1980 Spiel Des Jahres award (German Game of the Year). The name Rummikub is pronounced Rummy-Cub or Rummy-Cube - such pronunciations are location specific.
For a players first move, they must play a set with a value of at least 30 points. Point values are taken from the face value of each tile played, with the joker assuming the value of the substituted tile (if played). A player’s first move is known as the initial meld or passport. The initial meld cannot build on previously played tiles. A joker on the table cannot be retrieved before the initial meld. If a player cannot make an initial meld, they must pick up a single tile from the pool and add it to their rack and play proceeds to the next player. Once a player has made their initial meld, for each turn a player must either play one or more tiles from their rack, making groups and/or runs. If the player cannot make a group or run they must pick three random tiles from the pool and add it to their rack
Extracted from wikipedia

I haven’t played this game for quite some time now. I enjoy the challenge to manipulate the tiles – shift, split, remove and substitute. It does exercise the brain. Must get the team together again to play this.


(9) Cashflow 101 and Ratrace
Cashflow 101 is an educational tool in board game format designed by Robert Kiyosaki (author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad), which aims to teach the players concepts of investing by having their money work for them in a risk free setting (play money) while simultaneously increasing their financial literacy and stressing the imperative nature of accountability.
There are two stages to the game. In the first, "the rat race", the player aims to raise his or her character's passive income level to where it exceeds the character's expenses. The winner is determined in the second stage, "the fast track". To win, a player must get his or her character to buy their "dream" or accumulate $50,000 in monthly cash flow.
In place of “score cards”, there are financial statements. The game requires the players to fill out their own financial statements so that they can see more clearly what is happening with their money. It generally shows how assets generate income and demonstrates that liabilities and 'doodads' are expenses.
Extracted from wikipedia

The 'Ratrace' Vintage board game (1973), by Waddington's / Gibsons is a game of frantic social climbing! Will you expand your business, join the yacht club, throw a lavish party, make a fortune at the races - or be wiped out paying taxes! Each player in 'Ratrace' is plagued by the same problems that we all face in everyday life. Equipped with £200 and a business, he or she must try and improve their status, and be the first person to accumulate a pre-determined amount of money and 'retire'.

These 2 games have similar game plan – get rich and retire. So, I’ve placed both in the Number 9 spot. I’ve just started playing these two games this year. Initially, it was really fun to play, but after awhile, the game plan got predictable, and I got bored. The idea is not to play too often, and it will be really exciting.


(8) Sequence
Sequence is a board-and-card game distributed by Jax Ltd., Inc.. It involves an average-sized playing board, on which are depicted two packs' worth of cards (minus the Jacks), two full standard decks, red, blue and green playing chips which total 135.
Players are dealt a certain number of cards (3-7 depending on the number of players), and then take turns to play these cards, placing a chip of their colour on the corresponding card image on the board. The object of the game is to form a row of 5 chips (be it horizontally, vertically or diagonally) before the other players. If there are only two players, 2 sequences must be formed to win the game.
The four corners of the grid do not depict cards; instead, they are wilds, i.e. any sequence of 4 chips including a wild sqaure wins. The Jacks fulfil a special role. If a player plays a two-eyed Jack, he or she may place a chip anywhere on the board (except of course on the wilds). If a one-eyed Jack is played, the player may remove an opposing player's token from anywhere.
Extracted from wikipedia

Got addicted to Sequence for awhile when Yoke Kheng first bought the game. It gets pretty exciting especially towards the end when everyone tries to block each other. It’s important to get a good partner who can read your mind. Hehehe!


(7) Taboo
Taboo is a word guessing party game commercially available from Hasbro. The object of the game is for a player to have their partner guess the word on their card without using the word itself or five additional words listed on the card.
Extracted from wikipedia

First played this game in Selvi’s house. After so many games, I could now remember some of the words. We often play the game in the KBU Christian Fellowship.


(6) Boggle
Boggle is a word game designed by Allan Turoff and trademarked by Parker Brothers / Hasbro, Inc.
Play begins by randomizing a tray of 16 cubical dice, normally by shaking. Each has a different letter printed on each of its sides. The dice settle into a four by four tray such that only the top letter of each cube is visible. After they have settled into the grid, a three-minute timer is started and all players simultaneously begin the main phase of play.
Each player searches for words that can be constructed from the letters of sequentially adjacent cubes. Here, the meaning of "adjacent" includes the horizontally, vertically, and diagonally neighboring cubes. Words must be at least three letters long, may include singular and plural (or other derived forms) separately, but may not use the same letter cube more than once per word. The players record all words found by writing on their private sheets of paper. After three minutes have elapsed, all players must stop writing and the game enters the scoring phase.
Extracted from wikipedia

I love Word games. It’s even more fun when you play with people like Sahaya and Pei Lu. They can come out with extremely, mind-boggling ‘words’!


(5) Mahjong
Mahjong is a game for four players that originated in China. It is a game of skill, strategy, intelligence, calculation and luck. Depending on the variation which is played, luck can be anything from a minor to a dominant factor in success. The object of the game is to build complete suits (usually of threes) from either 13 or 16 tiles. The first person to achieve this goal is said to have won the game. The winning tile completes the set of either 14 or 17 tiles.
Extracted from wikipedia

I learned to play this game while studying in Australia. I have even taught some of my students this game when they visited me during the Chinese New Year – no gambling involved. I have 2 mahjong sets – one from Hong Kong and a miniature set from Malacca. I miss this game as well.

(4) Big Two
The card game Big Two is also known as Choh Dai Di, Dai Di (both Cantonese). The game is very popular in East Asia, where it originated, especially Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan. It is played both casually and as a gambling game. It is usually played with two to four players, the entire deck being dealt out in either case (or sometimes with only 13 cards per player). The object of the game is to be the first to get rid of all of your cards.
See here for the complete rules and variations of the game.

Before Jordan was born, Seng Chor and I played this game occasionally before bedtime. Hee! Hee! I learned this game also while studying in Australia. I’m pretty good at this – lucky most of the time too. :p


(3) Seven Card Game
This game is played with maximum of 4 people. All 52 cards are distributed. The person with the Spade 7 starts the game, and play goes clockwise/anti-clockwise. The next person has to try to make a sequence from the Spade 7 or start a new sequence with another 7. If no card can be played, the player must close a card, usually the card with the lowest point, like Ace (1 point). That card is considered dead and it may block the rest of the players from placing their card. The objective of the game is to be the first to get rid of all of your cards, especially big cards like 10, Jacks (11 points), Queens (12 points) and Kings (13 points). The player with the lowest points wins.

One of my ex-colleagues named this game the Evil Seven because people can turn really ‘wicked’ in the game. Some people (one of them is Teoh Seng Chor) purposely close an 8 so that no other card above 8 can be placed. This increases the score of players holding those cards. Of course, some of us do show mercy and try to make everyone happy in the game.


(2) Scrabble
Scrabble is a popular word game and board game in which 2-4 players score points by forming words from individual lettered tiles on a 15×15 game board. The words are formed across and down in crossword fashion, and must appear in a standard dictionary.
Extracted from wikipedia

Before I discovered Up the River, Down the River, Scrabble was in the Number One Spot. I have 5 sets of Scrabble – first one was bought by my Mama during my primary school days, I redeemed a travel set from Citibank, bought the Millennium set from Toy R Us, bought the Deluxe set from Jusco, and a miniature set – a birthday gift from my brother Alex. I have the game on my PDA, which I used to play almost everyday.


(1) Up the River, Down the River
The game can be played with almost any number of players (3+) although 4-7 is considered optimal. The game is played using a standard 52-card deck, with ace being the highest rank, two the lowest. With eight or more players, the game can be played with two decks combined.
The first hand is played with one card dealt to each player. On each succeeding deal one more card is dealt out to each player, until there aren't enough cards for another round. This is up the river. After this, the number of cards per player decreases by one every round. The game is complete when the last round (with one card per player) has been played – down the river. For example, a seven-player match consists of 14 deals, from hand size 1 up to 7 and back down to 1.
The dealer deals out the cards one by one, starting with the player to the left, in a clockwise direction, until the required number of cards has been dealt. After the dealing is complete, the next card is turned face up, and the suit of this card determines the trump suit for the deal. If the trump suit is the same as the previous round, then the current round is played without a trump suit. Then, the card of the lead player becomes the trump suit.
Each player is now obliged to bid for the number of tricks he believes he can win. Knocking: After each player has chosen his bid he places his fist on the table. When everyone has chosen they knock on the table together three times, and on the fourth they show their bid by the number of fingers.

Exact scoring with penalty: A player who makes the exact number of tricks bid scores 10 plus the amount bid. Players who underbid or overbid are deducted points in the amount of the bid.

Extracted from wikipedia

Whenever the BBC team could get together, we play this game. We even have names for some of the people – sabo King, sabo Queen, sabo Prince. Sabo here refers to sabotage. I played this game the most last year – especially during the pregnancy. There was always so much laughter during the game. Perhaps this is how Jordan got his trademark laughter after so many rounds of Up the River, Down the River. Furthermore, his khai-ma was also in the game with her contagious laughter. Hahaha!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Funny actions by Jordan

At birth, Jordan had this funny tendency to shake his head continuously for a few seconds. It was as if he has taken the ecstasy pills. Initially, thought that he was searching for the nipple, but he shakes also when not drinking milk. Occasionally, he still does it until today. Really, really funny. I remembered my father-in-law telling him, “Don’t shake your head – not handsome already.” Hahaha!

Lately, he likes to hit himself on the head – particularly the right side, with his right hand. Sometimes, he holds a toy and uses it to knock his head. It’s like, ‘ouch’ to us but nothing to him. I have been stopping him from doing it. He did it quite frequently last weekend.

When he’s on our bed, he likes to go to the front of the bed, presses his head against the wood and starts to shake his head. Funny!

Sometimes he crawls in circle, especially on our bed.

He amuses himself by rolling on our bed, and laughing at the same time.

Whenever he faces us, he would poke his fingers into our mouth and play with our teeth. He even tried to dig my nose. Yucks!

I like to watch him as he claps his hand. He smiles at the same time.

He even sits and turns at the same time using his legs.

Because of his dimple on the right cheek, he looks sweet when he smiles or laughs. I just love his laughter.

He is able to flip/roll his tongue! Both Seng Chor and I can’t do it. He may be doing it subconsciously. So, don’t know whether still can do it when he grows older.

The funniest thing is still his limping crawl. Last weekend, he even crawled like a crab – moving sideways.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Welcome back, Philippines Mission Team

It’s really good to have the Philippines Mission Team back home – Yoke Kheng, Wan Yi, Jia Ling and Hui En. They touched down before 4 pm yesterday. They left last Saturday – 18 November 2006. Hopefully, Jia Ling and Hui En will share in their blog on the trip.

I was extremely happy to see Yoke Kheng yesterday. Even though she was really tired and not feeling well, she still came over, and distributed gifts to the BBC team – including me, of course. Each of us got a packet of dried mangoes (yummy!), peanuts and a case with 31 Prayer Cards for your Everyday Life. She said that she has more gifts for us. Wow! So nice of her. Thank you so much, Yoke Kheng. May God heal you completely, and strengthen you even more.

Alone with Jordan

Seng Chor left for his scuba diving trip to Pulau Jarak on Friday evening. Just found out that Pulau Jarak is off Pulau Pangkor. He will be sharing about his adventure in his blog soon.

Jordan was manageable. He did his usual stuffs – eat, sleep, crawled and watch TV. Had fun time with him on Saturday. He laughed aloud as I pretended to catch him while he was crawling on our bed. The first one was a real catch as he turned and almost fell off the bed. He laughed loudly as I caught him. Then, the pretend-play started. He seldom passed motion on weekend, especially Saturday, but on last Saturday and Sunday, he did. Another unusual thing happened was that he finished the Gerber food-in-the-jar Sweet Potato for the very first time. I fed him during dinner time. I bought the food when he was 4 month old. He didn’t appreciate it at all. Seng Chor and I had to eat them because it can only be kept for 2-3 days after opening. Yesterday, he ate the banana flavour one. I also fed him with the new rice rusks from Empro. He likes is too. He slept at about 10:30 pm and woke up only at about 6:45 am the next day.

On Sunday morning, I carried him and walked to Roy and Selvi’s house for the Growth Group meeting. He played with Reuel and had a short nap during worship. Initially, he slept on Aunty Sue’s arms, and then we placed him on the comforter to sleep. He only slept for awhile, and started playing again. One terrible incident happened. During the Word time, I grabbed the song book that he was holding and he fell onto the floor and cried loudly. I felt so bad that I cried too. I shouldn’t have grabbed from him so hard. Poor baby! He got a shock and knocked his head as well. He cried for a few minutes and was back to normal after that. Another lesson learnt for me – don’t snatch from him, take from him gently.

After the meeting, he followed Rachelle in Uncle Wing Cheong’s car to visit Uncle Lim. He slept in Rachelle’s arms until we left Uncle Lim’s house. As we reached home, he woke up immediately. So, fed him with cereal, bathed him one hour later. After 2 hours, he had his milk again. He was actually tired, but didn’t sleep until after 6 pm. Before that, he watched the Donut man and the Donut Repair Club VCD – The Resurrection Celebration. He was crawling around as well. Before he slept, I fed him with the banana – Gerber food-in-the-jar. Only managed to finish half and he fell asleep. He slept for more than 2 hours – woke up after 8:30 pm with a new hairstyle, and then, ate his cereal. My beloved BBC team – Yoke Kheng, Kenny, Sahaya and Yung Ling was here that time. We were supposed to go out for dinner but because Jordan fell asleep we ordered Dominoes pizzas – Ultimate Hawaiian and Seafood Plater, instead. Then, they played 4 rounds of Boggle. Not sure who won, but definitely not Sahaya. Hehehe! Jordan was restless, so I couldn’t join in the fun.

They left before 10 pm. Seng Chor arrived home before 11 pm. Jordan was happy to see him. He was so excited that he didn’t sleep until midnight. I was playing with him before that. This morning, I had to wake him up for his milk.

To cut the story short (?), I survived again – I bathed Jordan, fed him and changed him all myself! BUT this doesn’t mean that Seng Chor can go diving every weekend. :p

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Blood Donation

It’s my first experience with blood donation. But…eh…I wasn’t the donor. Yesterday, my friend Yoke Lai and I took 3 of her students to Pantai Hospital for the blood donation. The donation is to replace the blood for our friend who had a blood transfusion in the hospital. Our friend is suffering from cancer in the abdomen area.

We arrived there at 12:20 pm, nearly got lost, as we didn’t know the way. I managed to call my ‘road map’ – Seng Chor. It was actually their lunchtime but they still made arrangements for us to donate. It was the first time for one of the students but the other 2 are veterans. One of them is actually a foreigner, whereas the other 2 are locals.

Here goes the procedure:
i) Fill in a form. Enter your personal details and answer some health related questions – just circle yes or no (about 15-20 questions). Some questions are:
Currently on medication?
Taken alcohol for the last xx hours?
Involved in any accident?
Had blood transfusion?
Had fits, malaria, tuberculosis?
Visited Europe for the past 3 months?
If female, pregnant?

ii) Check your weight.

iii) Check your blood type and level of hemoglobin.
(One of them has the blood type O- which is quite rare. Initially, one of them had a low hemoglobin count. So, the lab worker has to poke his finger again to check for the second time – ouch! This is one thing he dislikes most – poking his finger, and he had to do it twice. His expression was really funny. The second count was ok. We jokingly said that the lab girl wanted to hold his hands again. He is quite a charmer, and the girl is pretty too.)

iv) Then, some more questions:
Ate your breakfast? – recommended to eat first
Slept more than 5 hours?
Had alcohol?

v) Each donor will be given a card. So, the card is completed every time he/she donates.

vi) If all clear, each given 3 bags but they fill only one. The other 2 bags are for the blood component which will be extracted in the lab. One of components is platelet.

vii) Finally, the ‘blood-sucking’ process starts. The normal amount taken for guys is 250 ml – quite a lot. I have learnt that the blood could only be kept for about 3 months. But none is wasted as the need is always there.

After the procedure, the donors will be given light refreshment – usually Milo and some biscuits.

All went well. We left the hospital about 1:30 pm and took our lunch in KFC, Atria – as requested by one of the students. I was actually craving for KFC too. So, glad that one of the students suggested it. Hehehe! Yoke Lai and I gave them a treat for the donation. All of us ordered snack plate. I was the only one who had the Original Recipe – my favourite. Yummy, yummy!

Thank God for their willingness to donate the blood – Ivon, Woon Ping and Abdul Wahab.

If anyone of you wishes to donate blood at Pantai Hospital, you can go to Block A, 3rd Floor.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Tai Pak's 70th Birthday

A toast for Tai Pak.
From Left - Ling Ling, Christine Wong and Hubby, Dad-in-law and Tai Pak.
Ling and Christine are Seng Chor's cousins.


From Left (Standing) - Tony, Ah Bee, 3rd Aunt and Ling Ling.
(Sitting) - Wife of youngest Uncle, Oldest Aunt.
Tony and Christine Wong are brother and sister.
Ah Bee is Ling Ling's younger brother.

Tai Pak and Tua Em - happy couple.


Tai Pak kissed Tua Em. Aiya, I missed the shot.

Time to eat the cake...yummy, yummy.

36th Wedding Anniversary

Today, my Papa and Mama celebrate their 36th Wedding Anniversary. May God bless their marriage with joy, peace and most of all love. Blessed Wedding Anniversary, Papa and Mama!

Coincidentally, today is Seng Chor’s Tai Pak’s 70th birthday which we celebrated last Saturday, and also my brother Felix’s girlfriend’s birthday.

His Tai Pak’s birthday party last Saturday was like a family reunion. I felt as if “Penang is in KL” because almost everyone was talking in Hokkien. Most of the relatives were here. Some of the cousins and relatives from Johor have not seen Jordan before. They adored him. I enjoyed the dinner. The menu – Four Season dish, Sharks’ Fin soup, roast piglet (my favourite), steamed fish, prawns (big ones), vegetables, noodles. For dessert, we had longan, bun and of course the birthday cake – Mango flavour from Secret Recipe (yummy!).

Not sure when we will be able to see them all together again. It’s really wonderful to see the whole family coming together for this celebration. My father-in-law is the second son. He has 1 older brother (Tai Pak) and 2 older sisters. Then, there’s 2 younger brothers and 2 younger sisters – 8 brothers and sisters altogether. Only 2 sisters couldn’t make it that night. Some of their children came. It’s a big family indeed. My mother-in-law’s side is even bigger – 12 altogether! Imagine – most of their children are married with children. Huge family! We could visit only some of them whenever we go back to Penang.

Probably, the next reunion will be during Chinese New Year or the Qingming (Ching Ming) Festival, known as All Souls Day in English.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Friends and Events

At different stages of our life, we may mix with or have different group of friends and attend various events. Today, I just feel like sharing about my friends and list down the events I went through…

Kindergarten
I think not many people remember about their friends from their Kindergarten days but I do – at least one. She is the first person to greet me when I arrived at the Kindergarten. I still remember her name – Kai Ling. Her English name is Vicky. We went to the same primary school but not the same secondary school. Our paths still crossed after that when we joined the same Girls’ Brigade – a uniformed society. I will always remember her for her friendliness and great sense of responsibility. She was like a big sister to me. Hope that our paths will cross again one day.

Events: Birthday parties

Primary School
I attended the St. Agnes Primary School. I remember sitting next to a boy who always drool. Hmm…not sure why. It’s not a disease. He’s a nice boy who invited me to his birthday party. He left the school after few years – no contact anymore. Besides him, I remember mixing with a group of girls who are pretty outgoing. I’m always the quiet one. I remember playing games with them, and going to their homes for birthday parties. Most of us attended the Secondary School which is just next to this Primary School.
I had a good friend. She is actually a Malay – Azura Abbas. After primary school, she went to a boarding school. We corresponded through snail mail – no email then, of course. I remember going to her house during the Hari Raya for lunch with the family. She has a few adorable cats in her house. I even have pictures of us playing in the playground outside my house. Sadly, lost contact already.

Events: Birthday parties

Secondary School
The name of my Secondary School is All Saints’. My mum taught in the school. She resigned before I joined the school. The reason is not to avoid me (:p) but to spend more time with us – her children. Since the school is next to my Primary School, after school I used to walk to meet my Mama, with a group of friends – mostly boys. Their mums also taught in the Secondary School.

My best time during the Secondary School is after Form Three. My class is known as Sains Tanjung. We are the elite batch at that time. Hee! Hee! During the school holidays, we organized trips to the island and beach. All of us were pretty close in the class. I really enjoyed the 2 years of upper secondary school. I was considered quite active and did a lot of fun things. I was both a School Prefect and Librarian. After one year, I had to give up the Librarian post because of the heavy responsibilities. Few stayed back to continue their Form Six. Most of us left after Form Five. We used to have reunion every Chinese New Year but not anymore. Some have even migrated else where. I still keep in touch with a few of them – especially Josephine, Agatha and Angela. We are pretty close.

My best friend is Josephine – also known as Phine-phine. She is still in Kota Kinabalu, married but no children yet. Whenever I go back to Sabah, I would meet up with her. We send sms and call each other once in awhile. I also keep in touch with Agatha the same way. Occasionally, she comes over here for training. Then, I would try to meet up with her.

Recently, I bumped onto Angela at my College. She was here to attend an event. We hardly keep in touch with each other even though both of us are working here. Typical!

Events: More birthday parties - Sweet Sixteen birthday parties.

College
I studied the Australian Matriculation at Taylor’s College. During this period of time, I have quite a lot of good friends whom I still keep in touch until today. One of them is Siew Yuen. She’s actually from Penang but has now settled down in Petaling Jaya. Few years ago, I bumped onto her in Centrepoint having lunch. Then, later on I met her again at a church event where my students attended. Wow! What a small world! Last year, she gave birth to triplets! One girl and two boys! Amazing, eh? I haven’t seen her since the birth of Jordan. Must call her again one of these days.

During my College days, I stayed with a police inspector, in fact, 2 police inspectors from 2 different families. Before Taylor’s College moved to Subang Jaya, they were in Jalan Pantai. The building was next to a police station, and that’s where I stayed. Yup, I stayed in the police station – 4th floor. My good friend – Valerie stayed with her Uncle and his family in the 8th floor. He is also a police inspector. Valerie and I are from the same class in All Saints’ – Sains Tanjung. We were not really close during the secondary school days but we clicked really well during College days. We did a lot of fun things together – related to the opposite gender. Hee! Hee! When her Uncle and the family, moved to Subang Jaya, I rented a room from them. We were not in the same class because we took different major. I think I miss her. We shared so much with each other – tears and laughter. We didn’t really keep in touch after we left College. Heard that she got her Doctorate as well, working in either U.S. or U.K.

Now, here comes one of the most amazing true stories.
Last week, I dreamt of an ex-collegemate who had migrated to Australia. The last time I met him and his wife was in Singapore – probably about 5 years ago. In the dream, I had difficulty contacting him because he changed his hp number. When I got up in the morning, I reminded myself to contact him. The only contact I have is his email address. Finally, I wrote him an email on Wednesday, 15 November. I had the dream on Sunday morning – 12 November. Surprisingly, he replied my email the next day and told me that he is in KL to renew his traveling documents. I was really surprise. I replied the email with my hp number included, and he called me almost immediately. It was purely coincidental. He just got his notebook fixed, managed to access the Internet, and just happened to check his email. He didn’t expect an email from me at all. Thank God that his email account is still valid. We chatted awhile. He was busy – so am I. So, we didn’t meet. We will just continue to email each other. Thank God that I didn’t ignore the dream. Otherwise, I would have missed the opportunity to hear his voice. I often get such vision/dream about people. Sometimes it’s about a specific thing/need, most of the time it is not specific. It’s not freaky. It’s a blessing to me, and I thank God for this gift.

Events: Prom Night, Clubbing? (Please don’t get me wrong – I seldom go clubbing – probably just once or twice during my College days). Hmm…somehow, less birthday parties.

University
My closest friends are those from the Overseas Christian Fellowship (OCF) whom I still contact through email and msn/yahoo messenger. This group is interesting because we are from different countries and nationalities – Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Hong Kong, China, Samoa, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Australia, etc. It’s good to hear how God is working is their lives. This year, we managed to set up a directory and put as many people as we can in the email list. May we continue to encourage each other just like we did in the good ‘old’ days…

Events: 21st Birthday parties, Graduation

Working Life
My circle of friends has increased tremendously, particularly because I’m in the education line. I have my church members, colleagues and even my students as friends too. I still keep in touch with quite a number of ex-students – local and overseas. Occasionally, I even attended their class reunion. I still contact some of my ex-colleagues as well.

Events: Wedding, Children’s Birthday parties, Bridal Shower, Reunion, Funeral. (This list has increased as well).


As life goes on, friends also come and go – new and old. May we appreciate all our friends and accept them for who they are. God bless all my friends!

I thank God for the Internet – email and online chat.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Dislikes

Since I have written a blog about my favourite things, I might as well list down the things that I dislike and things that irritate me most...

  • Hot, dirty and smelly places (who doesn't)
  • Playing sports or doing anything else under the hot sun
  • Mopping/sweeping the floor (Thank God that Seng Chor doesn't mind doing it)
  • Untidiness
  • People pressing the door bell continuously (very irritating)
  • People pressing the car horn continuously (extremely irritating)
  • Lizards, cockroaches, ants
  • Horror movies like Final Destination, Urban Legend
  • Movies by Chow Sing Chi (Lame)
  • Most movies by Jim Carrey
  • Hot and spicy food
  • Any food/fruits that taste sour
  • Woolen clothing

Hmm...that's all, I think.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Trust Where You Cannot Trace

This was shared to me by one of my colleagues...

Trust God where you cannot trace him.
Do not try to penetrate the cloud He brings over you;
rather look to the rainbow that is on it.
The mystery is God's;
the promise is yours.

by John Macduff

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Eleven months

Jordan Teoh Shang Xian is already 11 months old!

According to youngnutrition.net, this is how I can help him:
  • Give him activity boards with knobs, buttons and handles that he can manipulate.
  • Encourage him to move about in the bath using swimming motions.
  • Let him play with water outside of bath time, such as filling up a shallow bucket or introducing a paddling pool, and make sure he is supervised.
  • Get him to walk towards me either using furniture for assistance, or taking short steps on his own.
  • Let him play with simple puzzles and help him complete them if needed.
  • Read stories about babies and use these to show him how he is loved and protected.
  • Congratulate him when I understand his speech.
  • Encourage him to feed and dress himself.
  • Give him objects he can group together, such as shoes, colored blocks, and items that come in pairs of shapes.
  • Encourage him to play with other babies in the same area and to share his toys.

His increased coordination and confidence means he can do several things at once while on the go. He is able to start feeding himself, but it's pretty messy.

I notice that he expresses negative emotions more frequently and he will throw tantrums if he doesn’t get his own way.

Puzzles and activities requiring greater precision of movement will be of great interest to him and this means there are plenty of ways he can be stimulated, even while playing on his own.

May God continue to protect him as he cruises around the house. God bless my baby with love, joy, peace and wisdom.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Bye, bye Sore Throat

Stomach-ache - gone. Sore throat - gone. Runny nose - perpetually. Hooray! I could enjoy more food now. When I had the sore throat, there were a lot of stuffs that I wanted to eat but couldn't eat - satay, KFC, etc. Well...I still haven't got the chance to eat those food yet. One week ago, I had prawn crackers in Bukit Beruntung. Yummy! Four of us - the hungry Sunday School teachers ate whatever that was edible on Yoke Kheng's dining table. One of the Sunday School children even scolded us for being greedy and for not asking permission to eat. She is the one we call 'chicken little'. Well...obviously, we all ignored her and just munched away. Our beloved new Deacon and host even bought each of the Sunday School teacher a packet of prawn crackers! Fabulous! Glad that my sore throat didn't attack again.

I didn't go to Sunday School yesterday. Had to babysit Jordan while Seng Chor went to Youth Voltage. Heard from Yoke Kheng that the children miss me. Oh...so sweet....They said that they missed Jordan too. They only saw his photos on my notebook, and yet they said that they missed him. Hee! Hee! I think they enjoyed the handicraft I made together with them. I am so happy that they remembered the lessons I taught them - The Creation, Adam and Eve, Noah's Ark. I asked them questions and some of them could answer! God is really amazing. They also asked a lot of questions - especially 'chicken little'. These children are just awesome. I look forward to teach Jordan these Bible stories as well. I would love to hear him answering and asking questions too.

It was a good weekend. Jordan was manageable. He naps at least twice during the day. Last night, he slept around 9 pm until 10:15 pm. Then, had his cereal and slept again until about 12:15 am. He drank his milk after that, and went back to sleep again. He seems to be sleeping more these days - good for Daddy and Mummy.

Work is pretty much the same. Artificial Intelligence lectures on Tuesday. Other days - preparing lectures, meetings with students, staff meetings, report writing, etc. Still easy going, and more importantly, still got ample time for blogging. :p

Friday, November 10, 2006

Silent Night...in pain

On Wednesday, Seng Chor and I attended the Oracle Application Day at Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Kuala Lumpur. As usual, I look forward to the freebies, lucky draw and food - morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea. This time, I collected pens, notepad cum calendar, pencils, sweets, mugs, chocolates and even won myself a shirt. Cool, eh? Food was ok - didn't really meet my expectations. During the buffet lunch, I enjoyed the dessert most. Cod fish was awesome but soup was horrible. Hmm...what about the event itself? The most interesting talk was probably the last one on GST. Overall, I've learnt something, and gained much (not weight, I hope).

Coincidentally, Aaron got free movie tickets for "The Departed" from TGV KLCC that night. So, we had dinner at the KLCC food court, and waited for the rest of the gang to come - 13 of us. The movie was disappointing. Basically, it's a story about two undercovers - one for the police and one for the mob. It has a strong profile of actors - Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg, Martin Sheen, Alec Baldwin...

Plot Outline: Two men from opposite sides of the law are undercover within the Massachusetts State Police and the Irish mafia, but violence and bloodshed boil when discoveries are made, and the moles are dispatched to find out their enemy's identities. (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0407887/plotsummary)

The storyline is actually similar to the Hong Kong movie Infernal Affairs. I didn't really enjoy that too. Well..this movie is memorable because it's the first movie that Seng Chor and I watched in a cinema after the birth of Jordan. Not surprisingly, everyone asked, "Where's Jordan?" Hee! Hee! He's with the babysitter loh. He had a sleepover! So, that explains the title - Silent Night. Why "In pain"?....I had stomach-ache almost the whole night. Not sure what had caused it - I do not wish to speculate. I didn't really sleep well. Had diarrhoea twice in the morning. Then, went to see a doctor and took medical leave. I slept the whole day and yet still felt really weak at night. Today, I resumed work - still feeling weak and uncomfortable - nausea, giddy, mild tummy ache. Looking forward to more rest during the weekend - but I doubt it. Not much rest with an active baby around. :)

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

List of Favourites

  • Animal : Bear
  • Assessories : Earrings
  • Author : Stephen King
  • Bible Verse : Psalm 37:4
  • Biscuit : Ginger Biscuit
  • Book : Harry Potter series
  • Cake : Black Forest
  • Car : Yellow Mini Austin
  • Cartoon character : Pocoyo, Bob the Builder
  • Clothing : T-Shirt and Jeans
  • Coffee : Ice blended Coffee from Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
  • Collection : Stamps, Currency - coins and notes
  • Colour : Sky Blue
  • Drink : H2O
  • Fast Food : Kentucky Fried Chicken
  • Flower : Roses
  • Fish : Clown Fish
  • Food : Japanese - Chicken Teriyaki
  • Fruit : All types, especially, Durian, Persimmon, Mangosteen, Custard Apple, Rambutan, Longan,...
  • House : Multi-storey Bungalow
  • Ice cream : Strawberry, Mango
  • Insect : Butterfly
  • Lipstick : Maybelline
  • All-time Favourite Movie : Sound of Music
  • Movie (Adventure) : Indiana Jones series
  • Movie (Cartoon) : Finding Nemo
  • Movie (Comedy/Romance) : Groundhog Day
  • Movie (Drama/Romance) : A Walk to Remember
  • Movie (Fantasy) : The Lord of Rings Trilogy
  • Movie (Sci-Fiction) : Star Wars
  • Musical Instrument : Piano
  • Newspaper : Star - The People's Paper
  • Perfume : Calvin Klein
  • Plant : Aloe Vera
  • Precious Stone : Diamond, Ruby
  • Shoes : Hush Puppies
  • Soft Drink : Root Beer
  • Sports : Badminton
  • Song : Jesus Loves Me this I Know
  • Stationery : Pen
  • Superhero : Wonder Woman
  • Sweet : Mint
  • Tea : Japanese Green Tea, Jasmine

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Visual & Performing Arts

I was inspired by the Inspired Educator to do the same quiz. My results are below.

Surprise! Surprise! I think most of you do not know that I had tried to apply for a degree course in Jewelry making. Seriously! No joke! But I didn't get it. I even took Art as an additional subject in Form 5, and I got a Credit. Yeah, I do have a passion for art, and I thank God that I can use my creativity to serve Him in the Sunday School and other areas. Hmm...Education/Counseling ranks 4th but still the best major.

Results...

You scored as Visual&PerformingArts. You should strongly consider majoring (or minoring) in the Visual or Performing Arts (e.g. Art, Art Education, Art History, Ceramics, Culinary Arts, Dance, Drawing, Fashion Design, Film, Graphic Design, Interior Design, Marketing (advertising), Music, Music Education, Music Theory, Painting, Photography, Theatre).

It is possible that the best major for you is your 2nd, 3rd, or even 5th listed category, so be sure to consider ALL majors in your OTHER high scoring categories (below). You may score high in a category you didnt think you would--it is possible that a great major for you is something you once dismissed as not for you. The right major for you will be something 1) you love and enjoy and 2) are really great at it.

Consider adding a minor or double majoring to make yourself standout and to combine your interests.


Visual&PerformingArts

63%

English/Journalism/Comm

63%

Religion/Theology

56%

Education/Counseling

56%

HR/BusinessManagement

56%

Biology/Chemistry/Geology

56%

Accounting/Finance/Marketing

50%

History/Anthropology/LiberalArts

44%

Physics/Engineering

44%

Mathematics/Statistics

44%

French/German/Spanish

44%

Nursing/AthleticTraining

38%

Psychology/Sociology

38%

PoliticalScience/Philosophy

31%

WHAT MAJOR IS RIGHT FOR YOU?
created with QuizFarm.com

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Hugs

It's wondrous what a hug can do.
A hug can cheer you when you're blue.
A hug can say, "I love you so,"
or "Gee, I hate to see you go."

A hug is, "Welcome back again!"
and "Great to see you!" or
"Where've you been?"
A hug can soothe a small child's pain
and bring a rainbow after rain.

The hug! There's just no doubt about it,
We scarcely could survive without it.
A hug delights and warms and charms,
It must be why God gave us arms.

Hugs are great for fathers and mothers,
Sweet for sisters, swell for brothers,
and chances are some favorite aunts
love them more than potted plants.

Kittens crave them. Puppies love them.
Heads of state are not above them.
A hug can break the language barrier,
And make the dullest day seem merrier.

No need to fret about the store of 'em.
The more you give, the more
there are of them.

So stretch those arms without delay
and give someone a hug today.


1988 by Springbrook Publications, Inc.
St. Clair Shores

Quote of the Month (October)

"...We do not let crisis dictate our agenda."

Dr Tan Soo-Inn

(15 October 2006)

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Butterworth Paper Cups

In our last trip to Penang, we had the opportunity to visit Seng Chor's Dad's paper cup factory. Through the photos, I will share with you the paper cup making process...

Raw Materials - rims of paper

First step - printing process

Second step - Cutting process

Third step - Making the cups. Paper goes into the machine. It cuts the edges of the paper and molds the paper into a cup.


Same machine as previous one. The cup goes into a vacuum tube and comes out on the right for packaging. Different machines mold different type of cups. That day, there were about 4 cup-making machines operating. Each machine was operated by one person. It was a Sunday, and the factory is open 24 hours a day, all year round.
Oh, they don't just deal with cups. They produce paper plates, ice cream cup, coaster and serviettes too. Of course, with different machines.
The final process is packaging, which is done manually.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Doctor again

I broke my own record by seeing 2 doctors within 4 days in 2 different states - Monday in Penang, Thursday in PJ. I was given a stronger flu medicine last night, and given medical leave for today. The medicine really works - my nose was not blocked last night and I could sleep better.

Glad to rest at home - and first time without cheeky boy around to disturb me. This month, cheeky boy seems to prefer Daddy more. He cries for Daddy's attention. His patterns and preferances change occasionally. Funny.

Well...can't do any serious work today - can't keep the promise I made yesterday. :p
It's best to stay horizontal...

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Nicknames

Ok, ok...I know that I should be doing some serious work like writing my journal and preparing for my lectures but I'm just not in the mood. I'm not feeling well too. I will do some serious work tomorrow. Really, promise ... :p

The thought of writing about my nicknames just dawned on me. I have a few...Of course, the first one is 'cabokia'. Sometimes, my siblings call me 'kia' for short. They don't call me 'cheh-cheh'. Wonder why?

Some of my ex-schoolmates call me Tine-tine. They still do.

My ex-uni mates have one interesting nick for me - dootbear or doot. What does it mean? Hmm...I don't really know exactly. Well...it is something like that. The first part - "doot" means something like blur but kinda smart. I think so. I'm quite blur actually - occasionally. The second part - "bear" refers to cute (in the good sense. Hee! Hee!). Combining both means - the blur, smart and cute one. Two of them still call me by this nick.

So, now I am affectionately known as Dr Cabo or Dr Doot. What does Seng Chor call me? Ask him.

Penang - Good and Bad

On Saturday, we left the house at 6:30 am. Then, we picked up Seng Chor's Aunty at Damansara Jaya and headed straight for Penang. Traffic was quite bad until Rawang. Smoother after that. Then, bad again nearing Ipoh. We had one toilet break, and stopped shortly at Ipoh for brunch. Jordan was manageable throughout the journey. Finally, reached Penang around 1 pm. So, the whole journey took 6 hours - almost twice the usual duration! [Bad]

On arrival, we had prawn mee - specially prepared by my in-laws. It's one of their specialties. Yummy! I had one bowl and Seng Chor had 2 bowls. Even though I normally avoid spicy food but their prawn mee must not be missed. They only cooked it on special occasion - when we are back. Hee! Hee! Actually, it was I who requested Seng Chor to ask them to prepare. So nice of them to agree. A lot of hard work is involved - peel the prawns, grind the shells for the soup, cook the soup with lots of ingredients inside. Hmm...that's a secret recipe. [Good]

Later in the afternoon, my sis-in-law, her hubby and her adorable son Jeffrey - my nephew arrived. Of course, he has grown bigger. He's eyes are bigger too - still look very much like his daddy. He is more active now but still see him sleeping most of the time. Glad to see them again. [Good]

On Sunday, we visited my dad-in-law's paper cup factory in Nibong Tebal. Will upload some photos later. It is in a new location. The place is bigger and looks more organised. After lunch, we went to Pacific Megamall to do some shopping for Jordan. [Good]

Nightmare began...Jordan was restless at night. He woke up every 2 hours. He refused to drink milk/cereal. He didn't want to sleep as well. Just wanted to crawl around. Seng Chor and I had to take turns to accompany him until morning. Because of that, I caught a cold. [Bad][Bad].

On Monday morning, we went to Penang Island with my in-laws. We took the ferry. It was first time for Jordan. [Good] experience for him. On arrival, they took me to see a doctor. I had a slight fever, throat infection, flu and slight cough. I was supposed to rest but...after that, still had to go to Prangin Mall and Gurney Plaza. [Bad]

Jordan slept better on Monday night - from 2 am until the next morning. I didn't sleep well because of my blocked nose. I am still suffering from it. Throat is better, no more fever, but the nose is still unwell. I have finished the flu medicine. Just need to finish up the antibiotic today. [Bad]

We left Penang at around 9 am on Tuesday. Traffic was [good], and we arrived home before 1 pm. We stopped over at the Tapah rest place. I was happy to buy some fruits back. I was sort of craving for the fruit (don't know the name) after eating one from Uncle Wing Cheong. It was bought by Roy in the same place. I think the fruit belongs to the guava family but it's skin is shiny, smooth and reddish. [Good]

So, after all, the trip ended with a [Good] note. Jordan is drinking and sleeping well also. :)

Friday, October 20, 2006

Balik Kampung

Perjalanan jauh tak ku rasa
Kerna hati ku melonjak sama
Ingin berjumpa sanak saudara
Yang selalu bermain di mata
Nun menghijau gunung ladang dan rimba
Langit nan tinggi bertambah birunya
Deru angin turut sama berlagu
Semuanya bagaikan turut gembira

Balik kampung oh oh...( 3X )
Hati girang
Ho ho... Balik kampung (3X)
Hati girang

Terbayang wajah-wajah yang ku sayang
Satu-satu tersemat di kalbu
Pasti terubat rindu di hati
Menyambut kepulangan ku nanti
Perjalanan jauh tak ku rasa
Kerna hati ku melonjak sama
Ingin berjumpa sanak saudara
Yang selalu bermain di mata
Nun menghijau gunung ladang dan rimba
Langit nan tinggi bertambah birunya
Deru angin turut sama berlagu
Semuanya bagaikan turut gembira

Balik kampung oh oh...( 3X )
Hati girang
Ho ho... Balik kampung (3X)
Hati girang

Terbayang wajah-wajah yang ku sayang
Satu-satu tersemat di kalbu
Pasti terubat rindu di hati
Menyambut kepulangan ku nanti

======================================

"Balik Kampung" means "Going Back to Hometown". The above lyrics is a song by Sudirman (1954-1992) [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sudirman_Arshad] - The No. 1 Asian Singer from Malaysia. It has a very catchy tune. It's played on the radio during the festive season when Malaysians return to their hometown to celebrate with their loved ones.

This weekend, Seng Chor, Jordan and I will be heading north towards Penang - Seng Chor's hometown. Yeah, we are 'balik kampung'. We will leave on Saturday morning and back here on Tuesday. So, we won't be blogging until next Thursday/Friday. Pray for journey mercy and good fellowship with our loved ones. Pray for the protection our home here too.

For those of you who are "balik kampung" as well, drive safely and God bless you all.