Countdown to Joash's 6th Birthday

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Countdown to Jayna's 5th Birthday

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Countdown to Jaide's Birthday

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Countdown to Joram's Birthday

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Monday, May 14, 2018

Mother's Day Thanksgiving

Two weeks ago, I caught a terrible bout of flu which caused me to be bedridden for days. However, I could finally take MC (aka sick leave). This may be a very basic thing to most people but it is a very very big deal to me. 

Ever since I became a mother, I could never really rest no matter how sick I was. I remember the countless times I had to rely purely on God's supernatural strength to continue caring for my children even if I had to drag myself around on the floor amidst crying and screaming, passing out multiple times, in order to do it.

Now, even Joram is independent enough to take care of himself as long as food is available. With food delivery services these days, I don't even have to risk collapsing outside to pack home a meal for my children. Joshua is also established enough at his work place to afford working from home if I need him around. Furthermore, my mum-in-law has moved in with us this year so she can also be called upon to help out if need be. 

For the first time in more than ten years, I could actually take medication which causes drowsiness during the day and rest in bed to recuperate without worrying about my children. This is miracle enough for me. 

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Mastering Self-care

Ever since Joram turned 5, Joshua and I have been teaching Joram to become more independent. I got him to change up by himself and practice folding his clothes. He now knows how to blow dry his own hair, wipe his mouth after eating plus wash his hands and feet. He is also starting to wipe his own butt after doing 'big business', although we still have to check afterwards to make sure it is completely clean. Joshua is monitoring and coaching our youngest in brushing his teeth and bathing himself every night. We are looking forward to him achieving complete independence in a couple of months' time...

Monday, May 7, 2018

Death of a Dream

R.I.P. my beloved apron...

My children used to love my cooking. I used to enjoy cooking for them, too, despite having to do so under extreme circumstances. (I talked about this in my post Cooking in Peace) However, after my daughter discovered her dietary restrictions and my son started to find my cooking too 'healthy' for his maturing tastebuds, I was hard-pressed creating a menu which could accommodate their new partialities. (Check out Revamping the Menu to see my valiant efforts)

As time goes by,  in spite of being able to FINALLY cook in peace because the children have grown old enough to leave me alone in the kitchen or help with the preparations, it has become incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to please everyone. The four children have all developed very different likes and dislikes and, worse still, they keep changing their minds. As I mentioned in Pampering with Food, I do try my level best to prepare meals taking into account all their preferences or food restrictions. But more often than not, I find myself whipping up so many different types of dishes to cater to all. Even then, I still hear grumbling. It became so terribly disheartening to have at least one of the kids complain about the ingredients I lovingly put together. 

At first, I tried to oblige by going back to the kitchen to rustle up something else more to the grumbler's inclination. However, the hard work I put into cooking became disproportionately greater than my children's satisfaction of the end product. I lost all motivation to put in the mammoth effort and it is no longer worth my while. 

Even though the children still agree that I am a good chef, they simply cannot agree on what they want me to dish out. It is utterly ridiculous for me to run the kitchen restaurant-style every single meal. It is so much easier to please everybody if we were to eat out or pack back whatever they want. This way, everyone gets what he/she fancies at any one point of time. That is not without problems though. There were many times when they had the audacity to change their minds last minute and accused us of getting the wrong order! *faintz* 

I have grieved for a long time over how the food situation at home has evolved. Of course, I could have enforced 'martial law' and arm-twisted them into grudgingly eating whatever that is served or otherwise go hungry. Or I could have constantly lectured them on starving children all over the world and shamed them for being spoilt, ungrateful brats each time we gather at the dining table. I just didn't see the point in all that struggle anymore. 

My dream of cooking for my entire family has met a gradual natural death. Unless there is a special unified request from all my kids, I am hanging up my apron for good.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Bike Trip

With Joram able to cycle, we went for a bike trip around the neighbourhood for starters. Joshua and I rented ofo bicycles to ride with our kids. As a safety precaution, I got everyone to wear yellow so as to be as visible to pedestrians and other riders/drivers as possible. I also made sure the kids wore gloves and long pants in case of anyone falling on the rough asphalt. When Joram becomes more confident with cycling, we'll venture further. So looking forward to it!

Doesn't he look like a minion? LOL
The bike which had its decal
transformed from green to red

Check out Joram's increased competence so soon after learning how to ride!

Friday, March 30, 2018

Remembering Jesus

We use sparkling grape juice to substitute wine

This is the first Good Friday when all the children have become believers in Christ. We have waited till now to start the tradition of having family holy communion because we did not want to put any undue pressure on the unbelieving child/children to accept Jesus just so as to participate in the communion with the rest of the family.

Now that all 4 kids have authentically received Jesus into their hearts, it would be appropriate for us as a family to remember what our Lord had done on the cross to purchase our freedom from sin on Good Friday, just as He had instructed us to do during the Last Supper. 

Mark 14:22-26

While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take it; this is my body.”

Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and they all drank from it.

“This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many,” he said to them. “Truly I tell you, I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”

When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

I was actually wondering where I could find gluten-free and dairy-free (GFDF) bread to use for the sake of my kid with eczema. God is so marvellous to have answered my prayers. A kind church-mate of mine was asking me this morning if I wanted to get from her some GFDF hot cross buns she happened to have baked for her family. As God would have it, I was scheduled to be on worship duty at the center just 5 min away from her place. The bun were even made without the use of yeast. This is as close to unleavened bread as one could get. I am simply amazed by God's provision!

Joram made the stain-glass cross in the above picture in school. How appropriate! And what is Good Friday without Easter when Christ defeated death and resurrected 3 days later? Just nice that I made these starry easter eggs with my elder daughter for her Girls' Brigade project. (Picture below) The eggs symbolise the new life we have in our Saviour who have the power to rise from the dead! Hallelujah!

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Joram Learnt To Ride A Bike!

My elder girl had been complaining that she preferred to ride her big brother's bicycle because hers was getting too small but my eldest boy was unwilling to let her use it for more than a few minutes since he also wanted to keep riding. I got very fed up with all the squabbling every cycling session so I thought it was high time to do a systematic upgrade. We bought the biggest child bike we could find for my no. 1 kid. To convert his old one into something more girlish, I used red acrylic paint to go over the green decals on the bicycle. Instead of green and yellow, the brother's bike became red and yellow for his younger sister to use. 

I also unscrewed and threw away the dented basket at the handle bar of the pink bike my no. 2 used to ride and lowered its seat because it was a tad too heavy and tall for my younger girl to inherit. Thankfully, Joram was rather happy with the purple bike which I bought less than a year ago for his second sister. After I tore away the stickers which said "bella", it looked pretty decent for a little boy to use. 

At first, I kinda expected Joram to take quite a few sessions to get used to the heavier vehicle he just took over before he'd be ready to transit from "striding" it to actual pedalling. The good old strider was nearly half the bicycle's weight after all. To my great surprise and delight, he started cycling half an hour later after I gave him a few pointers. Wow! This makes him the earliest to learn how to ride a bike among all of my kids at 4 years and 11 months old. I'm so absolutely proud of him!

We can finally say farewell to the trusty blue strider which had been a crucial part of teaching all 4 of my children to balance and eventually ride a bicycle. It has served its purpose in my family and I will be passing it on to my brother's son. 

Check out a clip of one of 
Joram's first successful attempts

Gor Gor's new bike

4 kids' bicycles
in the shed now

By the time my oldest kid outgrows this new big kid bike, he would be tall enough to ride an adult sized one. I can now look forward to cycling trips around the neighbourhood with all my children in tow!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Joram is turning 5

The moment I came across the promotional video of Art Zoo, I knew that Joram would love to go. Even though Joram's actual birthday is in April, I decided to celebrate his 5th natal day there yesterday because the whole thing is going to be around only for 3 weeks. And since it's the March holidays and Joshua could take half-day leave, there was no reason to delay.

My darling youngest boy was absolutely thrilled with the place. It was such a joy to see him hopping from one bouncy castle to another with an eager grin on his face. Sadly, I had to permanently park myself under the shade of the ladybug installation after a while due to the sweltering heat. I have always been extremely susceptible to heat exhaustion. Thank God Joshua was available to be dragged around by the kids for the rest of the time on my behalf.  :P

Crossing the Helix Bridge

The place is huge!

Here we are!!!

Before the kids run off

The girls came up with this pose


Reaching for the sky?

Grinning from ear to ear

Big balls galore

Boy in action

Hide and seek

I'm gonna punch!

Ball pit

Joram was calling out the colours 
while he changed it by hitting the ball

When the kids started to get hungry, we went to the Super Heroes Cafe for a sumptuous dinner. Joram totally loved their crispy chicken drumlets. For his birthday cake, he chose the rainbow cake. The restaurant staff even gave the children free lollipops and a Flash apron FOC for the birthday boy. How nice of them!

Daddy praying over the
birthday boy

Trying to act innocent

We purchased the tickets to Art Zoo online using Klook and they gave us complimentary credits to the carnival and that was where we headed to afterwards. It was apparently a special deal given only to certain customers much like a lucky draw. What a perfect birthday present from God! There was enough for each kid to choose two rides. Joram obviously wanted the car rides. Out of the two types, Joram definitely enjoyed the bouncing one more because he kept laughing throughout the ride. 

The apron is too big for him
so it became a decor instead.