Saturday, October 6, 2007 ;
Taking this opportunity to thank all those who sent presents
to us, via the mail.
From hwa chong (below): for my birthday, and for the kids... Chinese books and activities from teck/ lk, mag; Magnet from HK Disneyland fr WK; Sun Yanzi CD from Law, Mag; Cute piggy clock & card from Judith, a DVD with all of you saying your heartfelt things to me, and a clip of law driving from Jurong West to Telok Kurau and Pasir Ris to Telok Kurau! thanks!
Below left: from my parents, sis and bro-in-law. From MIM, the nursing clothes and the repaired silk sling (yay!), lots of goodies (seaweed, cod fish fillets, haw flakes, preserved mangoes, Umeya sour prunes), Fox clothes for the kids (miss Fox Fashion) etc etc.
Above right: from Angeling and Linda (church). Drawings for ds1 from his "gf" MX. :-) Keropok!!!! Korean instant noodles, chilli tapioca chips!!! Potato biscuits for kids. Lovely card. And also various local newspapers, like Today, My paper, some chinese papers. A book on writing. I also realised I miss the Spore papers a lot, when I saw that. Thanks!
I think I would subscribe to the online edition of Straits Times soon, really want to read more news from home. But the rate for print subscribers who subscribe online too is half the price for me. So, anyone back home who subscribes to the print edition but doesn't want the online one for sure, let me know. Can I ride on your print subscription?!? :-)
ABove: puzzles and brain teasers for the whole family. This comes from David and Anne Cole. They're dh's friends, who are also our family friends now, after we visited them in New Mexico recently and got along so well with them. More about them in later posts. In brief, they sent us puzzles cos when dh was discussing music and bowmaking techniques with Anne, David entertained me and kids with puzzles. They have amassed a gigantic collection of puzzles, ranging from really mindbending to very weird or rare.
He realised (and I realised) that both kids could be occupied with such things for so long (8-10pm)... And he gave me puzzle after puzzle to solve. After I did one, he'd fake amazement, then go into his store to get a "tougher" one and challenge me again. In the end, just before we left, I was stuck on a pyramid one. And I said "Arrggh, won't be able to sleep thinking of a solution for that!" That was when he said, "Tell you what, we'll send you some, as gifts!"Misc activities with kids
1. Dissolving salt in water then evaporating water to get salt again.
(sounds simple to us, but kids are easily amazed)
Evaporation here is so fast though, I was surprised too. Low humidity, higher gradient/ difference in water potential. :-)
2. Lanterns for MAF celebration, forgot to post under the lesson plan.
3. Self-printed tees
This stemmed from ds1 asking me to buy him an Ultraman tee shirt.
I said, "No Ultraman here in USA, how to get you an Ultraman tee?"
He said, "Let's draw one ourselves." Thinking that everything can be drawn. In his eyes now, I guess I am still "God", I can do everything.
I don't have many more years to be the one they come to for everything, to be the one they think can solve every problem and heal every wound... So I decided to "make it happen".
I said, "Ok let's design then print it." At least that is possible. Phew.
So we went to Michaels (Art and Craft store) to get a white tee. There, I decided to get 2, one for ds2, otherwise not fair. :-) $4, I think, Hanes brand, not bad, 100% cotton.
Also bought some iron-on printable blank sheets.
Went home, asked ds1 to choose the Ultraman image he wants.
After looking at all those choices I gave him, he said, "I don't want just Ultraman. I want to be inside, fighting with him."
If this were a cartoon, I will be drawing myself *fainted*.
Ok, so... I am "God", therefore.... I downloaded Photoshop software free trial. And overlaid his pic onto the Ultraman image he liked.
I said, "Satisfied?"
He said, "Must have Japanese words inside!"
Ok, so... I surfed for some Japanese words. Actually I have no idea what these words mean, although I have ensured it is not some swear word. So please, Kegan, or any student reading this who took Jap, tell me!
Ok, after that decided to put fire and "didi" inside too. So in goes fire and ds2.
Finally. Printed out on the iron-on sheet, then ironed onto the tee.
Since the trial is for 30days, I set about doing the other one for ds2. Decided to make us and bison be together. haha. at least with ds2, I make the decisions. So our family is here with the bison and ds1's riding on one of them. hehe. For ds2, I also put a caption that says "I love the bison that God made!".
Effect on tee was not that great. I suspect, either it was cos I bought the cheapest iron-on sheet, or it's my lousy cheapo printer.
They didn't care. They wore it almost everyday! Now it looks kind of faded and cracked in some parts too. Not obvious from far, but not something I think is great. A tee should last longer! Things to take note of if I undertake future projects of this nature.
4. Money budgeting/ saving
Dh made this coin bank from a used peach tin. Our can opener opens from the side, so the lid can be stuck back with super glue.
ds1 earns money by doing chores outside his duty, beyond what he's already supposed to do. eg sorting clothes, picking up after his brother. NOT for: picking up after himself if he was the one who made the mess. Or for getting the mail (his chore).
Also time to teach him about the American coins, which had me myself confused. Pennies are 1c (smallest), then next largest is the 10c! 5c is larger in size than the 10c, so I always get confused there. And the names, I always get mixed up between dimes and nickels. Quarters are ok, cos they are largest and are 25c.
Also teaches patience. He can't have the money till he fills the can, cos this tin can't be opened by himself.Misc observations
1. The Trax
Got stopped right by train signals the other day (1st time I am the 1st car) and since there was a wait, I whipped out my digicam and took these. Everyone was waiting for the train to pass, even the pedestrians.
2. Special parking lots!
There are always parking lots for the disable everywhere. And sometimes I see lots at restaurants specially for those who take-away or "to-go customers". But this below is a first, and a pleasant surprise.
Right beside the store, where the shopping carts and main entrance are, with much more space too.
rainbows every day, do not worry for the morrow