Tuesday, November 18, 2008
I AM THANKFUL:
FOR THE WIFE
WHO SAYS IT'S HOT DOGS TONIGHT,
BECAUSE SHE IS HOME WITH ME,
AND NOT OUT WITH SOMEONE ELSE. l
FOR THE HUSBAND
WHO IS ON THE SOFA
BEING A COUCH POTATO,
BECAUSE HE IS HOME WITH ME
AND NOT OUT AT THE BARS.
F OR THE TEENAGER
WHO IS COMPLAINING ABOUT DOING DISHES
BECAUSE IT MEANS SHE IS AT HOME,
NOT ON THE STREETS.
FOR THE TAXES I PAY
BECAUSE IT MEANS
I AM EMPLOYED .
FOR THE MESS TO CLEAN AFTER A PARTY
BECAUSE IT MEANS I HAVE
BEEN SURROUNDED BY FRIENDS.
FOR THE CLOTHES THAT FIT A LITTLE TOO SNUG
BECAUSE IT MEANS
I HAVE ENOUGH TO EAT.
FOR MY SHADOW THAT WATCHES ME WORK
BECAUSE IT MEANS
I AM OUT IN THE SUNSHINE
FOR A LAWN THAT NEEDS MOWING,
WINDOWS THAT NEED CLEANING,
AND GUTTERS THAT NEED FIXING
BECAUSE IT MEANS I HAVE A HOME
FOR ALL THE COMPLAINING
I HEAR ABOUT THE GOVERNMENT
BECAUSE IT MEANS
WE HAVE FREEDOM OF SPEECH. .
FOR THE PARKING SPOT
I FIND AT THE FAR END OF THE PARKING LOT
BECAUSE IT MEANS I AM CAPABLE OF WALKING
AND I HAVE BEEN BLESSED WITH TRANSPORTATION .
FOR MY HUGE HEATING BILL
BECAUSE IT MEANS
I AM WARM.
FOR THE LADY BEHIND ME IN CHURCH
WHO SINGS OFF KEY
BECAUSE IT MEANS I CAN HEAR.
FOR THE PILE OF LAUNDRY AND IRONING
BECAUSE IT MEANS I HAVE CLOTHES TO WEAR.
FOR WEARINESS AND ACHING MUSCLES
AT THE END OF THE DAY
BECAUSE IT MEANS I HAVE BEEN
CAPABLE OF WORKING HARD.
FOR THE ALARM THAT GOES OFF
IN THE EARLY MORNING HOURS
BECAUSE IT MEANS I AM ALIVE.
AND I AM THANKFUL:
FOR THE crazy people I work with
BECAUSE they make work interesting and fun!
AND FINALLY, FOR TOO MUCH E-MAIL
BECAUSE ? IT MEANS
I HAVE FRIENDS WHO ARE THINKING OF ME.
Live well, Laugh often, & Love with all of your heart!
Thursday, November 13, 2008
#1 had a long and stressful day at college and I invited her to shop at the Curve before fetching #2. While browsing, guess what I saw?
Daiso is coming!!!!
I am so trilled!! I want to apply for a job with them!!! LOL!!
Looks like we West Malaysians are a blessed bunch! Don't need to go down south or to KK to buy a variety of Bento stuff anymore (hopefully)!
Everything sold @ 5 Ringgit. Awesome! I must contact them to request them to stock more Bento items! Yahoo!! So happy!!! Join me - YAHOOOOOO!!!!
Reality sets in......
*Have to wait*
Well look at the bright side, DAISO, IS becoming a reality soon!
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Yesterday we had mama’s 80th birthday party. OOooh. so tiring. :s but so fun! :) I’ll post up the pictures after exams. one of the few times that I really enjoyed performing – and surprisingly, I had not one bit of nervous-ness this time. LOL. usually I’d end up freaking out so much, to the extend of like shivering, and my voice shaking. =) yesterday was like “oh. okay. it’s over? wow.” lol. but it was fun. =) i love granny!
A homemaker, Granny taught us well
And showed us what to do
As strict, up-standing citizens.
She’s been our family’s glue.
She raised her children on her own,
So loving, strong and wise.
Small wonder that we look at her
With proud, adoring eyes.
Granny always kept our family unified,
We’re proud to be her descendants.
When we were small, she taught us girls
The way to fix a meal.
From list to store to kitchen, we
Learned how to make it real.
To make the perfect recipe
Takes discipline and skill.
In kitchens or in life, that’s true.
Granny always filled the bill.
And to that skill and discipline,
For this warm-hearted woman is
As kind as she can be.
And that’s the metaphor for life
She taught her girls and boy –
Ye get from life just what you’ve earned,
The hard work, then the joy.
Granny was a looker, in her youth,
And she’s still quite a dish.
But what’s inside is lovely, too,
So here’s our birthday wish:
Eight lively decades have flown by
Since you began your life.
You’ve been the best of mothers and
A good and loving grandmother,
May all your years be joyful ones,
Now that the torch is passed.
You’ve earned your happy ending, and
You’ll never be out-classed!
We love you, Mama! Happy 80th birthday!
I’m so proud to have her as my granny! Although we may at times have our difference, she’s a real blessing and gem to us. =)
Friday, November 7, 2008
Friday's lunch is normally fish. In the left Bento box is a slice of fried Norwegian Salmon cut into half length wise to take up minimal space in the box. There is a bed of salt blanched broccoli florets fried with garlic and topped with cheese. I added some Wonka Nerds for a treat. (actually to try to keep her awake)
In the right Bento box is some spaghetti aglio olio nests topped with some freshly ground black pepper and tomato ricotta cheese sauce.
Forgot to add the bottle of frozen orange juice when I took this picture.
It's just that it's difficult to keep up with her and she's so hard to measure up to! Hahaha! I'm spilling my heart here! Sometimes it's really difficult to please mum because she's independent, independent and too independent!
At 80, she's still scooting around in her car, travels alone where ever and when ever she feels like it, eats for the sheer love of food without having to think about cholesterol level or weight gain. At 80, she can still cook up a storm and makes absolutely delicious cookies and even meddles with new recipes! *awesomeness* At 80, she entertains herself with Tai Chi, mahjong, breakfasts with her 'kaki' (friends), goes to the hairdresser 3 times a week to keep herself pretty and makes new clothes once a month to refresh her wardrobe, uses Channel No 5 to keep herself smelling like a million dollars, takes short holidays and regularly attends Church to nourish her soul.
This awesome 'young lady' is friends with everyone! When my daughters and I began working on her birthday guest list, they asked if we should invite the lady from the market who sells vegetables, the fish monger and her family and the pork seller who is liken to an artist in his trade.
There was also the electrician and the plumber, the Doctor, the Tai Chi friends, the hairdresser, the mahjong 'kaki', the 'sin seh' from the medical hall up the road and the list just continued. We had a good laugh because that's what represents their grandmother. A friend to everyone!
This is a woman with a wealth of experience, recipes, stories and a heart full of LOVE (sometimes fiery too)! She's the first to call to wish us Happy Birthday, the first to give Ang Pow, always there at the first sight of trouble, the first to initiate a party to celebrate my daughters birthdays, completely unconditional and the list goes on......!!
So much to measure up to......*sigh*
We've planned a pleasant surprise for her and that's where the nerves come in. Will it be good enough? Will she enjoy what's been planned? So many questions *sweat, sweat*. Personally, I think she'll just enjoy whatever that has been planned, it's just me, I feel she deserves the BEST.... but nothing seems to be good enough.....
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Today, exams began for six of her debate team mates. The seventh just finished PMR so the final exams doesn't affect her although her fair share of exam stress began earlier!
Yesterday, I asked her if she wanted a Bento for this morning but #2 declined. This morning on the way to school #2 decided she better opt for a lunch bento otherwise she'd be stuck with canteen food and she wasn't up to it as she only finishes at 4.00p.m.
So I prepared this for her lunch. In the left Bento box is rice with her favorite furikake and some chicken fried with red onions, fresh button mushrooms, shoyu and oyster sauce.
In the right Bento box are some sliced Kiwi fruit and a mixed salad with sliced cherry tomatoes and sesame seed dressing.
It feels good to be packing Bento for her again.
#2 sat for 4 exam papers today.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
"DJ is officially the national WIRA champions 2008! And the only school in Malaysia to have won the WIRA competition THREE times!!!!!!!!! Praise God!
Well done team! God is an awesome God!!
A mother's journey recapped:
I think it was around October 17th when #2 got a call from one of her friends on the debate team that their school was in the running (being Selangor runner's up) for the National Wira debate since the original Selangor champions had decided to drop out from the race for reasons that they were a form 5 team and SPM being round the corner.
My heart goes out to them because if my kid was in the same situation, it would be a predicament to decide and even if one wanted to go for it, it would not be enough because the WHOLE TEAM had to agree to go for it TOGETHER!
I took this off an ex-DJian's blog:
"The greatest of debaters are not only the most eloquent -- they are the most bruised, the most resilient, the strongest of heart".
And...so true it is! I know for a fact that this team worked very, very hard to get to where they are today. It wasn't only about writing speeches, discussing motions and running debating mocks. They've had their moments of joy, tears, unhappiness, friction, frustrations and a roller coaster of emotions.
Working in a team is a most wonderful experience once the rough edges have been polished but getting there with a team of intelligent, independent, loud (sorry ah!), opinionated, eloquent and individual characters is quite another story. (Their team made up of six from Form 4 and one from Form 3, eventually three debated while four others worked hard together on the motions)
#2's previous school, BU4 had helped mould her but after her PMR results she requested to be transfered to a school with sub-science streams because she already set her heart on doing music as a career and she wasn't ready to slog through the pure sciences.
It was not by chance that we chose DJ and I can proudly declare that transferring #2 to this school has been a great blessing!
For #2, it was a dream come true to be part of DJ's prestigious debate team because she had just got into this school January 2008. I still remember when she came back one day after school and told me that she was asked to take part in an inter-class debate activity in the early part of this year.
She came home and started preparing her fist attempt, vigorously 'attacking' dictionaries and cyberspace for information! That moment forth brought the beginning of an amazing journey of friendship, commitment, triumph and defeat.
She was then invited to join the school's debate society which eventually led her being part of the winning team of this year's WIRA national debate. I have seen her and her team slog long, long hours working towards every single competition.
My heart cringed as she continued the long hours into the wee night at the computer doing more research and writing more speeches. All I could offer was words of encouragement, more food and hugs for this child of mine who never ever sleeps later that 10.00p.m. and all because of a commitment to her team and their goal. She's still at it even after I leave my computer at past 1.00a.m.! *sigh*
At 5.00a.m. in the morning the hair dryer buzzes incessantly while she tries to catch up on her music practice on the piano. Then the vicious cycle begins again - rush to school and into the 'debate room' for more discussions, strategies, plans, practices, editing and every brain draining activity one can think of. This goes on up to 4.30p.m., oblivious to whatever that is happening in or around the school mind you.
When the debate team failed to clinch the state title, I think everyone was bruised - quote: "The greatest of debaters are not only the most eloquent -- they are the most bruised, the most resilient, the strongest of heart".
But they remained strong and best of friends.
When my husband heard of the defeat, his first words were: "Praise the Lord! Now you can go back to your life"! And so true...#2 had 'no life' literally, other than giving that 110% to the debate team and it's goals. I'm sure the six others in the team experienced the same.
It was back to hitting the books again! Home work to catch up on, projects to finish and disappointments with piles of unattended school related work assignments. (Walks around the house like a zombie reciting moral nilai).
All that said and relieved that things were back to routine again, suddenly there's news that the debate team has to decide if they want to take a shot at the Wira debate 2008, national trophy! The final exams were round the corner and when #2 asked me what she should do, I advised her to pray about it and decide herself. She came back with a positive and that I had to be ready for her to fore go the exams. Personally, I'm fine with her results, not outstanding but she's been consistently working - that's enough by my standards.
The vicious cycle began again, only worse than ever. Sleeps later than ever because discussions take place via MSN late into the nights and tight dateline submissions of speeches. Early mornings were dedicated to more editing and printing of speeches and transfers of soft copy into thumb drives. By now, my heart has a 'cold hollow feeling' one that is honed by insecurity of my child's well being and insane adrenaline drive of long late nights, deprived sleep and too early morning beginnings!
But I see her grow in determination, comradeship, understanding, emotional stability, time management and lots of positives! I am pacified and soothed. Thank you Lord!
I think lunch time is the only relaxing break for the seven of them, running around looking for decent eateries for a supply of 'nutritious' food to feed the brains. To keep the energy, they turn to sweets to keep awake. Then it's back to 'work' up to 4.30p.m.
My heart cringes again everyday when I fetch her from school. She looks exhausted and I'm sure her team is too. But her heart is on fire and the adrenaline is on the high and once back home it's straight to the computer again.
Music classes (her favorite) has to be adjusted and postponed, music practices has declined tremendously, music competition preparations also set aside, Violin classes postponed indefinitely, family dinners declined (please pack food for me), shopping sprees declined (no time), sleep deprived but Church activities carry on (but must finish on time).
To cut the story short, the seven of them with their dedicated teachers worked, worked and worked like there was no tomorrow.
Quoting my eldest daughter:
"What other schools did in months, they did in twelve days".
I believe one common contributory factor that brought them to victory was the power of prayer. All seven believers or non believers among them spent time together and alone praying to God. Many friends, families, former school mates from all over the world cheered them on while silently praying for this great victory.
When we declare we are praying, it does not make us Saints. We are not better than others or in a clique of elites. It is because we have failings and are weak that we pray so that we can draw strength and grace to live in the light and walk the right path.
Just to recap an old post:
"When I say "I am Catholic" I'm not shouting "I've been saved! "I'm whispering "I get lost - that's why I chose this way. "When I say "I am Catholic" I don't speak with human pride, I'm confessing that I stumble - needing God to be my Guide. When I say "I am Catholic" I'm not trying to be strong, I'm professing that I'm weak and pray for strength to carry on."
"When I say "I am Catholic" I'm not bragging of success, I'm admitting that I've failed and cannot ever pay the debt (The debt of Christ's death on the Cross). When I say "I am Catholic" I don't think I know it all, I submit to my confusion asking humbly to be taught. When I say "I am Catholic" I'm not claiming to be perfect, My flaws are far too visible, but God believes I'm worth it."
"When I say "I am Catholic" I still feel the sting of pain, I have my share of heartache which is why I seek His Name. When I say "I am Catholic" I do not wish to judge, I have no authority - I only know I am loved. "
Quotes from: World Youth Day, Sydney 2008
Monday, November 3, 2008
I haven't packed a bento for almost 2 weeks reason being #2 has been very busy preparing for the national debate competition with her school team. It's been a chaotic 2 week (stressful too!) since the school debate team were informed that the original Selangor state winners for the Wira debate pulled out of the run at the last minute leaving #2's school team (Selangor runner's up) to decide whether to go for it or not with 12 days to prepare for the nationals. Their preparations covers 4 motions, Government and opposition for 3 speakers which amount up to about 32 speeches in 12 days.
Being naturally competitive as they are, they obviously decided to sideline their final exams and set to compete for the national debate competition held in Kota Baru in Kelantan. #2 left for Kelantan last Saturday with her debate team and two teachers. There are sixteen competing schools in the national debate. Last I heard from her this morning, her school is in the semi-finals. The finals is taking place tomorrow morning if they win another round in the afternoon.
#2 returns home on Tuesday night and her team has to sit for 'belated exams' on Wednesday onwards. They will stay back at school up to the afternoon so that they can finish 4 papers a day. It's a stressful life to live but I am inspired by a quote that #2 put in her blog:
And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count,
rather the life in those years.
- Abraham Lincoln
I will be back to packing bento's when things stabilize. Meanwhile happy bento-ing to all out there!
Latest update on debate results: #2's school debate team is in the finals scheduled for tomorrow morning!
How's your spelling?
|Your Spelling is Perfect|
Your spelling is excellent. You also have a great memory and eye for detail.
|You Are Cilantro|
The good news is that most people love you more than anything else in the world.
You are distinct, unusual, fresh, and very controversial. And you wouldn't have it any other way.