Sunday, December 31, 2006 ;
2:28 AM
Ok, I have arrived and am trying hard to adjust!

Thanks for sending me off at the airport, felt very sad to leave and was touched by everyone's presence. Wanted to cry but somehow the tears didn't come. :-)
Probably because we were late and rushing. The "last call" annoucement was made several times and I was still taking photos, according to my dad.
So we were the last to board the plane too! And we were running inside the sevure area to get to our boarding gate, quite funny.


(actually S7B had a few representatives too, besides Jona, there was Minhao and Huang hao but i'm so sorry i didn't get the chance to take photo with you.)






(for other church photos, mary has kindly uploaded them so you can view or download them from her site)



The cold is terrible. Temp ranges between -3 to -15deg celsius. But that is still combatable, I think. It's the super low humidity and dryness. Just getting from airport to the car, wham! it struck me. Both my and kids' lips are chapped now. Bit too late for lip balm but we are religiously applying it now.

The other thing is transport. In Singapore, I could get anywhere with the kids easily, and buying things is not a problem. Today, I experienced the inconvenience.
There is a long story regarding our car... We have a car now, bought second-hand but we can't drive it. Our Singapore driver's licence is good for 6 months but only to be used when driving a rented car cos insurance is included with rentals.
So dh found out when he drove the car and got caught by police, for not having valid local driver's licence and insurance, and had to appear in court somemore. His case was adjourned to Jan so we dunno yet how much fine we've to pay but it seems like in the region of US$400. So he can't drive the car, and me too. and we wanted to rent but cars were out till after New Year's day. And we had some urgent things to buy, like baby diapers, groceries, gloves and boots.
So we trudged out feeling prepared cos we took 1 hour to dress ourselves and kids, several layers, thermals and such.
But it was still bone-cold. Walking to the bus stop was still ok, then began the wait. We had checked online for the bus schedule already and it was due to arrive at 10am, but we waited for 30+min and it still didn;t arrive.
(view at the bus stop - so beautiful)
(waiting at the bus stop- N.B.: no seats or shelter)

(Even though I look so silly bundled up like that on a non-snowing day, I need to post this photo to thank those who contributed to my whole sponsored outfit. haha. mag-for the leather gloves fr Scotland, 18 hc trs for the Zara jacket, the Utah church for the boots, sab n peter for the scarf wrapped ard ds2, angeling for ds2's socks, woon keat-for large ang pow to buy the rest of the stuff) Of course I've got tons other warm clothing "sponsored" by more people, the credits will come in ltr... :-) I'll rem to wear different stuff and take photos ok? haha
(thank you ganma for the mittens, church for the shoes and jacket, ah yi Grace for thick socks, gu gu SH for the knitted sweater underneath)

It was such a long wait for us. The chilling wind blew incessantly and mercilessly, and every minute seemed like an hour! (it was about -3deg celsius) Cos Justus started crying first, but we managed to walk up and down to pacify him. Then Titus started crying too, but he wasn't able to pinpoint exactly where he felt discomfort. Then Justus fell into a deep slumber while dh carried him and walked up and down the path. I was worried it was hypothermia or something, cos one moment he was crying then suddenly so quiet and not moving! So since Titus was still crying and could not be pacified, my mom was freezing until she could not talk, my fingers too felt numb and frozen, and the cold seemed to have seeped into my toes... We decided to walk home again.
So stupid right! We spent the whole morning getting ready just to go out but in the end everything had to be cancelled.
When we reached home, the warmth from the heater was undescribably welcome. I decided then that I was not going to go out with the kids the whole of winter if we didn't have a car. Yes, I may face the four walls everyday and go crazy but I rather that than die in the cold. So miserable.
Re the car, dh has applied for the local driver's licence for 4 months already and has not gotten a test date, so I guess I have to start now too, else we may never get to drive the car parked in our garage. :-(

Ok, have to go order groceries online now and incur more expenses, and then get ourselves some lunch (which will be exactly the same food we had for the past 2 days). Cos we couldn't get any shopping done.
Hey thanks everyone for the messages and concern. And the cards and sentimental stuff that kept me entertained throughout the flight! by the way, the kids were ok, Titus was esp good, since he slept so much. He slept on the SIA plane from 9pm till we arrived in LA. Then he slept again on the domestic flight to Salt Lake. Justus didn't sleep much on the SIA flight so I was pretty tired. 16 hours! I dozed off a couple of times when he was entertained by the Kris World thingy. He slept later on the domestic flight though. So all in all, the journey was ok... I am still thinking findly of the Ben and Jerry's icecream that SIA served as dessert, so delicious but too bad the serving was so huge, and I had my own, plus some of mom's and half of Titus' so we actually had unfinished food. The meals were also very yummy and portions were huge, so I enjoyed myself very much on the plane wrt that.

OK have to go..

I miss all of you!!


rainbows every day, do not worry for the morrow
____________________________________________________________


Tuesday, December 19, 2006 ;
11:57 PM
Just a short message to say sorry to all those who so kindly and warmly asked me out since Dec started... I am deeply touched and truly wish to meet up too, but I have found myself in dire straits... I am stuck in between 3 places, in laws house, my own flat and school and I still have tons of stuff in all 3 places and not much packing has been accomplished, thanks to my kids.

It is impossible to get a decent amount of work done in a day due to taking care of their needs. And on days when I get just a bit busier with my own stuff, dragging them along with me, then they fall sick, one after another, so I get bogged down at home for a couple of days, not being able to do any work again. So, ds1 was done with food poisoning I think, vomiting for 2 days.

I can't remember if I am listing everyone I need to really sincerely apologise to, but sorry 05S78 for missing your class chalet and dinner. Sorry 03S73 for the surprise farewell party? Dilys just smsed me about a gathering and I said I prob can't go and she was then forced to tell me it was a farewell? But I still can't go!!! :-(. Sorry dear Liqing, my dear old JC classmate... I really can't make it for dinner but I still love you so much! Sorry BScians, my Uni friends, I think I can't make it either... Sorry dear Meizan, I will miss seeing your kids too!

Now I can only honour the commitments I made earlier, before Dec started, cos I had no idea I would be stuck in this situation. I was supposed to ship a few boxes over 2 weeks ago so they'd reach in time but I still haven't shipped them yet, so they'd probably only reach in mid-Jan!! sighz..

Just want to say to all, I haven't forgotten you and will surely keep in touch online ok? If I am having a lot of trouble settling down over there and dun hv time to post, pls still keep the MSNs or emails coming ya?

You will always be on my mind... ;-)


rainbows every day, do not worry for the morrow
____________________________________________________________


Monday, December 18, 2006 ;
11:45 PM

18 dec Monday 7-8pm
Last Yamaha lesson

ds1 will miss his yamaha classes very much. he really loves it. from the songs, to the teacher, to the stickers and the dancing... His teacher can really excite the kids with the way she sings and conducts the lessons. She is very friendly and enthusiastic so I think that helped a lot in getting the kids psyched up. we wrote a thank you card for her cos she's so fantastic and T is forever repeating what she says at home.

so for the last 2 lessons I asked to take some photos as memento of how much he enjoyed himself, cos there is no Yamaha near where we will stay in UT so there's no hope of him continuing. :-(

anyway the teacher was very kind and helpful too when she learnt that we were leaving halfway into the course, she brought forward one of the stories I mentioned from the next semester and also gave me an idea of what the rest of the songs in the CD and book were about, so I can continue guiding and teaching ds1 using the materials.

it always feels good to see fellow teachers who are such an inspiration.


rainbows every day, do not worry for the morrow
____________________________________________________________


Sunday, December 17, 2006 ;
11:48 PM
16 dec 2pm- 6pm
JBC Open House

Culmination of the 3 days of Hol Bible Sch, the Open House is often the highlight for the kids. They get to show all their friends and parents what they did during the whole yr: worksheets, art and craft, skits, songs, video clips etc. They also play games and receive presents and door gifts.

For me, because my kids belong to the younger age groups, their skits or songs are usually very comical and entertaining because with such young kids, they always do things that are spontaneous and often outside the script. Of course, this causes their teachers a lot of grief during rehearsals, but it is just amusing and funny to behold.

Likewise, I found everything very funny and laughed so much, esp when ds1 didn't toe the line, and kept stepping forward to sing right into the mic. Normally after a certain age, eg my sch students (17-18yr olds), they shy away fr the mic. Or even me, I will back away from it if it were thrust in front of me. But not for ds1. He wanted the limelight and probably wanted to hear his voice the loudest?? So he hogged the mic.

For the skit, he acted as one of the wise men who followed the star to Bethlehem and worshipped baby Jesus when they found him in the manger.

For ds2, their class, the cradle roll, consists of babies from 0-2 yrs old. So they need not put up skits but rather had a video clip, done up by me, to showcase what they did through the year in their lessons. It was super funny too and the little tots and babes looked so adorable.

When the prize presentation time came, ds1 was given the "Best in singing" prize in his class. Not a surprise I think, he takes after his daddy. Always trying to sing the loudest. :-) Mx (his classmate and friend) got "best in attendance and best memory" while Clara got "Best in Bible knowledge and colouring". So, judging from the prize titles, you'll see my son got the least academic prize of all. Aiyoh. But hey, both of them loved their presents so much.

All the teachers got something too. Actually I already know what it is, cos my sis was in charge of buying it and I saw what she got from Ikea. haha.

I will miss Open House too!


rainbows every day, do not worry for the morrow
____________________________________________________________


Friday, December 15, 2006 ;
7:22 PM
Today 9am to 3pm
JBC Sentosa trip

This is part of the Holiday Bible School for this year. Started on Thursday, but the second day (today) involved an excursion to Sentosa.

We met at the church building and sat on the chartered bus directly to Siloso Beach. Along the way, the kids sang songs and played together, creating a fun atmosphere on the bus.

At the beach, the older kids had a sandcastle building competition while kids like T n J played with sand and water toys that other mummies brought. So they had a lot of fun digging, raking, pouring and patting sand. There was even a toy wheelbarrow brought by someone and the kids had fun loading it and dumping sand elsewhere.

ds1 played far too long under the scorching sun, see his sunburnt neck and back.


Janelle brought a volleyball too, so they played some Vball and then "monkey". They let the younger kids all stand in the centre and they got to be the monkeys. They were being bullied I think, cos they were so much shorter they never got the ball.

Aft a Subway lunch we headed to Mount Imbiah and the rest went for an Animal Encounters show. It didn't appeal to me and ds2 was sleeping in his stroller already, so I hung ard with ds1 and ds2 at the bus/ cable car and train bay. I saw the new LRT or whatever they call it running, and sighed at the thought that I'll only get to ride it when I next return to Spore. Maybe when I return, Universal or some other theme park is already on Sentosa. Of course, there's the Singapore Flyer too, but nvm, there'll be so many other changes I will miss in the next few years. It's something like missing a child's milestones, quite sad not to be around lah.

After that, we boarded our bus and went back to the church building.


rainbows every day, do not worry for the morrow
____________________________________________________________


Thursday, December 14, 2006 ;
1:55 PM

12 Dec 12pm - 2pm
Great World City and Zion Rd Nasi Padang

Had a yummy nasi padang lunch with Danielle and Lawrence, with my kids also, of course.
Turned out Danielle treated although we wanted to buy her lunch!

We gave her baby Dylan (due anytime soon, she's 37wk preggy) something from Fox Kids, a bouquet of flowers n some chocs.

Managed to catch up quite a bit, and she seems to really love what she is doing now, and happy to be a mother.

I may not be here to see her baby but I am sure he will be an adorable and healthy boy! :-)


rainbows every day, do not worry for the morrow
____________________________________________________________


Wednesday, December 13, 2006 ;
9:32 PM
11th Dec Monday 11am - 4pm
Vivo City

Outing with Mag, SP and kids.
Our kids were all around the same age. Mag's 2002 (ds) and 2005 (dd), mine and SP's 2003 (both ds) and 2005 (mine ds, SP dd), so they got along very well with each other indeed. The moment ds1 met clarence, they begun discussing ultraman, power rangers, x-men, wolverine, spiderman, superman, what not...

But I got laughed at by Mag and SP when Clarence was holding this figurine and I said "Hey you've got ultraman!" when it was a Power Ranger he was holding. SO ok... I can't tell the difference at all... But when it came to deciphering what the 4-legged colourful animal on Mag's dd's stroller bar is, SP the zoologist couldn't tell whether it was a frog or tortoise, while I couldn't dedice if it were a tortoise or ladybug and the owner, Mag, didn't know either. Looks like toy makers these days like to confuse us.

We had lunch at Thai Express and then proceeded to Zara cos my dear friends at HC are getting a practical and useful farewell gift of a winter jacket for me!! I chose a black wool jacket, and really like it because of the high collar. I will wear it and post the photo when in Utah, and I will think of you all fondly whenever I wear it, haha.

After that it was the kids' time, so we let them play at the open air playground and then at Toys R Us. They enjoyed themselves so much horsing around together, the 3 boys clicked so well.

Although ds1 got along very well with his church friends, but they're all girls and I can see that the way he plays with girls and with boys is totally different. With boys together, they seem to have innate understanding and bonding that enables them to play (and fight) better. Maybe that's why at the younger ages, boys always stick to playing with boys and girls don't like to play with boys too. :-)


rainbows every day, do not worry for the morrow
____________________________________________________________


;
8:51 PM
9 Dec 6.30pm
Agnes' house.

JC Class gathering again! I was looking forward to seeing everyone again, but unfortunately some were overseas or busy. Some were uncontactable.

Thanks so much to the host Agnes who so kindly threw a party when I told her I was leaving some months ago. I had not been to her new house nor seen her baby too, so it was a good chance to meet and catch up.

I must say I am impressed by her home, very beautiful decor... Also, the dinner was great, prepared by Agnes herself. There was so much food, n I love the cherries n the Island Creamery ice cream cake. Even her maid was so pretty and I told her so, haha.

I brought my kids along because I am alone with them, and I had no one to leave them with. In laws and parents both on separate vacations. But they had a lot of fun playing with each other, so it was good interaction. They will form the next generation of S73-ers kiddos. Haha.

See how well Aggie's Kyra is getting on with my J already? :-)

Then the group photo: 6 doctors, 1 financial adviser, 1 accountant, 1 scholar, 1 teacher, 1 chemical engineer, 4 kids. Missing: The dentist, who left early. :-) 1 more kid, 1 spouse and 2 maids.


It was lovely to see everyone doing well, being happy and hey, somethings don't change much... E.g. our youthfulness. Haha


rainbows every day, do not worry for the morrow
____________________________________________________________


Friday, December 8, 2006 ;
11:02 PM
5 dec 2006 6am

An old friend from church, Marvin, died suddenly in his sleep. I had known him since Pri 4 or 5 and we were the same age. We often played together, joined church camps, and went out on outings to Sentosa and Science Centre etc up till JC when I moved house and changed to another congregation. I was and am still very affected by it.

His story appeared in several papers (Chinese and English) because it was very sudden and he had always been very healthy. Also, it is really very sad because his wife is almost due to deliver their baby girl.

The English story online on The New paper can be read here:
http://newpaper.asia1.com.sg/printfriendly/0,4139,118908,00.html
"He'll never get to see his baby girl
He tells wife, 'I feel cold' before going to bed
At 2am, he is shivering
At 5am, he dies
WITH his wife seven months pregnant and a baby girl on the way, Mr Marvin Kwek Soon Kiat had a lot to look forward to...."

I attended his wake and a memorial service last night with ds and some church friends. I can feel very much for his wife, seeing her so sad, but trying to be strong, and being so pregnant. Having gone through 2 pregnancies, I know the hubby's role is very impt, and yet she had to lose this pillar of support.

I was also very upset because although we were close when we were young, I did not keep in contact with him after JC or Uni when we were all so busy with our own lives. Seeing him lying in the coffin, no longer able to joke and laugh as he always did already affected me. Then when we were singing the hymns of consolation, I couldn't take it and started crying, as did some others.

He had always been so healthy, fit and the garang kind. He was in the NCC in Sec sch and I still remember clearly how he was so happy to be selected for a parachuting course not many had the chance to go for. Then he was always active and even joined the army for 6 yrs. It is just so shocking.

I still haven't gotten over losing a friend just like that. I have learnt a few lessons though: always try to maintain close friendships; treasure life because it may end suddenly; treat all my loved ones better (e.g. my parents, and my kids and dh) so i will not regret not showing how much i love them in case i or they died suddenly... Cos sometimes I am impatient with my loved ones, and i feel very bad after that, yet i don't usually apologise, think esp to my mom... So... must try and live without regrets... Most importantly, be a good Christian so even if i die or my loved ones die, we will still meet in heaven one day.


rainbows every day, do not worry for the morrow
____________________________________________________________


Tuesday, December 5, 2006 ;
5:23 PM
4th dec
HC Prom at Ritz Carlton. Unfortunately, regret of regrets, I had to miss it. Titus had Yamaha class (at night) and it was his 2nd last one already. Furthermore we were tired out as the 25th Annual Asian Bible Lectureship started at Royal Queens Hotel and we were there from the morning.
I'll be updating this post with prom photos my classes took, sorry, will be ripping photos from your blogs to put them together here, k? :-)

4th - 7th dec
AABL at Royal Queens Hotel. Interesting and relevant to our lives today, and since the speakers came from so many countries (not just Asian nations but USA too), it is definitely not to be missed. Some topics include: Gnosticism, Darwin Humanism, New Age Movement, Fornication and sexual immorality, Abortion and Euthanasia, Homosexuality, Corrupt communication (eg vulgarities), Drinking, Pornography and others. It'll be from 9am to 9pm everyday with some breaks in between for meals and such.

I couldn't stay for every topic though, cos once the kids got restless or cranky and tired, (eg at 5pm yesterday), I'd bring them home. We won't be going tonight too. But hopefully they can last the whole day tmr, cos I am particularly interested in tmr's topics.

k, time for yummy dinner! I'll miss Chinese/ Asian food once I'm there, so I am stuffing myself with such food now, e.g. char kway teow, roti prata, laksa, even preserved prunes! :-)


rainbows every day, do not worry for the morrow
____________________________________________________________


Sunday, December 3, 2006 ;
4:40 PM
Saturday 9am Spore Zoo
Aunty Sim and Angeling managed to get a pass so we could get in free, and AnnaWu had her own FOZ card, so we decided to have a Wed Chi Kids Bible Class outing to the zoo.

This cow always gets the most attention, even though it is not part of what we brought the kids to see... :-) The kids wanted to be on it forever...

After catching some animal shows and feedings (polar bear), the kids decided to try the pony ride. It was a tad ex at $4 for one round, but the herd effect was prevalent and since one kid wanted to ride, every kid wanted as well. Not wanting ds1 to be left out, and since he was super keen, i let him ride. I guess it was worth it as he dismounted full of smiles and proclaimed it excellent fun!
Ds2 was left out as he fell asleep while the rest were having the rides and so he was pictured in his stroller for the group photo. He woke up just in time for lunch though... :-)

Am glad we went cos the Spore zoo is an award-winning and world-class one, i will miss it for at least 2 yrs too. :-)

We reached home ard 3pm! Then I went to JP to meet Judith n hubby at Billy Bombers. She told me all abt her Dundee/ London trip. It was fun catching up.


rainbows every day, do not worry for the morrow
____________________________________________________________


;
1:22 AM

Need to dedicate something to my students..

01 batch: any of you have class blogs? tried to search on google and blogger but can't find..

03 batch: my dearest CT 03S73, the class who went through thick and thin with me... so glad to still be in contact.. :-)

The 05 batch: there was this written dedication in the Prom booklet, which I used to max (50 words).. then on the 23 of Nov, when I went back to school to do some work and to see the last Bio paper, the students' council org the prom (your juniors) came to the staff room to film whatever we wanted to say to you.

ok this is my confession.. i really think mine must be the silliest dedication of all and i hope you all won't laugh to death. it was a meant to be a serious msg but i think, i was camera-shy (too conscious of the cam), and therefore had funny expressions on my face. i didn't get to view it at all, so it is what i think it would turn out... then, cos they caught me offhand, i wasn't prepared so actually i need to say more.

one of the mistakes: i left out S73!! sorry sorry. pls dun think that just because i only take you for practical i dun miss you... no!!
then i grabbed whatever i had on my desk to symbolise your class, so there's the S75 thing you made for me fore teachers' day and the S78 class photo, very handy. but when it came to S7B, i realised there was nothing on my desk i could find so the whole "props" idea ended up quite silly la.. aiyoh.

anyway so i wanted to say: i hope you leave HC with something you can say you really learnt, and can take away. from Bio classes and lectures, i hope you retain some knowledge, if not, at least i hope you learnt something. it can be intangible, like maybe you learnt the importance of being quiet and attentive during lectures? :-) or you learnt to respect animals while dissecting them? or certain weird methods of repro animals use (even though this was just a class time filler). :-)

This was why I said the 2 yrs in HC is not coming to an end. After prom, it is not end of learning and end of structured school life. It is a beginning... a COMMENCEMEnt. I managed to squeeze "commencement of life" into the video dedication but I don't know if they will screen it. You are beginning a new chapter of your lives, also as important, and you will continue to learn much more, and it can also be together with your current classmates.

And hey I really meant it when i said I will miss you all. I had a great year teaching you all. I was touched to tears reading your comments written in the Student Survey mrs foo and mrs tan handed out in the post-prelim lectures. I don't think I will be a "monumental loss to the college" when I leave, like what one of you said :-), instead, not being able to continue teaching and interacting with you all is indeed a loss to me.

One year was all I had to teach you all. Wish I had more time to get to know each member of each class better... But there are already so many particular incidents, specific moments I can remember clearly, and will never forget. Some memories will always bring a smile or even a tear, haha. When Bernard stood up to say a few words on behalf of the class during the last tutorial (S78), I thought i was going to lose it in front of the class liao... lose self-control, i mean... :-) think if he continued longer, i'd certainly be crying..

think you all are more than students to me... you visit me during CNY, you know so much about my family (mostly cos you all are so kaypoh, always ask so many Qs rite?), you care abt my kids, even give me advice... haha, so yes, i will always remember you all.

ok to respond to some of you on my tagboard...
Huili, Xinyi: I am flying off on 28 dec...
Yahting: T did most of the colouring on the tee, i helped him with the letters only. :-) upon closer inspection it doesn't look v gd la, haha. i just realised, from the photo it looks gd..
Brendan: great! hope you get an A then!
Huiwen: bob e builder (the show) must pay.. so not sure if my kids will waste my money. sometimes they dun sit thru a show so i dun want to risk it. :-)
Jinguan, KK: sure, link away.
david: i forgot when u said class chalet was, can gimme more details?
Huili, Kegan: yes, visa application was tough. however, it applies mainly for whole families who want to go over together, like mine. usually not so tough for Singaporeans applying for undergrad studies, single and going alone, and at a reputable university. My hubby's course happens to be "ulu" and also the school is not a university but like a private school. so they are more wary. if you have got a govt scholarship, lagi best, surely can get visa. i have got ex-students who are non-singaporeans, like PRC, who got admitted into Unis like Stanford, yet couldn't get visas, despite applying many times. very great pity cos the students are very good ones, good in acad, CCA, conduct...

ok getting really late, going to sleep now, long day again tmr


rainbows every day, do not worry for the morrow
____________________________________________________________


about us ;
-{dear-hubby}- dh
-{dear-son}-ds1 T
-{dear-son}-ds2 J
-{dear-daughter}-dd E
singapore/utah/tianjin
Church of Christ
parenting/education/biology/travel/music

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huiming shaypiao chiuwai teck 03S73 05S73 05S75 05S78 05S7B janelle medalene eunice zelda maryGanMa meizan sheryl dory jessica danielle sammi jen OzSeow

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