Monday, May 18, 2015

Here's Our June Holiday Activities

Contrary to school holidays MUST BE spent out of the country, I've always look within our homeland for fun activities that can expend all the kids' energy, as well as learn a thing or two on my own as we go along.

This year's activities would allow more time for the kids and I to do discussion and sharing more stories. I cannot promise that it'll be the same kind of fun in theme parks but I am sure it will leave them some fond memories to recollect some years down the road.

Heritage Trails
This has been an activity I have wanted to do for a while now. With this year being SG50 we have more reasons to learn about Singapore than before! We will begin with our own town and the surrounding towns around us. As I researched, I didn't realize there are so much information to gather about our estate here. In addition, I could add a few anecdotes of my own being a student in this vicinity in my primary and secondary school years.
Photo Credit Link
So much information is available on the internet and ready suggested trails you can take to just learn about the different towns in Singapore. See the links below for details -
National Heritage Board
Explore Heritage
Your Singapore

More details of our trail in a later post, so stay tuned!

Singapore Pinacothêque de Paris Museum
Photo Credit Link
This is a new museum (located at Fort Canning Park) which is slated to open at the end of May 2015. I learned about it only recently through a friend and since the kids and I have been reading about some of the world renown artists, it'd be a great experience and opportunity of discussions for us to go visit this museum.
Photo credit link
Follow-up activities after this visit would be some art fun pulled out from this art book by Mary Ann Kohl

If you are interested in introducing art to your children of any age, check out this list of great books that you and your children can explore together.

Vacation Bible School 2015

This is the fourth year I am sending my kids to this program. It has proven to be a great program to put the kids in. Year-on-year the kids would request to go back to VBS and I have definitely no qualms signing them up (ppssst that means I'd have some me-time *smile*)

VBS runs on a different theme each year and this year, it's about Obedience to Jesus Christ! Which incidentally, is my one word focus for year 2015!!! (ok! I hear God loud and clear about keeping to my promise of obedience)

See more details about this program here. If you'd like to sign up too check out this link.

Photo Credit by Omni Theatre
We've been invited for a preview of the newly revamped Omni-Theatre. More details to be updated soon!

Children's Season 2015 - National Museum
A media invite - More details to be updated soon! Stay tuned!
Photo credit National Museum Singapore
Gardens By the Bay - Flowers Fun Time with Nursery Rhymes
(Media Invite)
We haven't visited the Gardens by the Bay Domes for a while now, and since the weather is a little freakishly humid lately, I suppose a visit to the flower domes can help to cool us down yet enjoy some family fun time together!
Photo Credit Link
Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum
Photo Credit Link
Since Little Man is a big fan of Dinosaurs, the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum will replace our initial intention to visit the Art Science Museum since Da Vinci's exhibition is now over *sob*

Some other fun but not too expensive or even FOC activities
Family bonding time at Frozen by a Thousand Blessings, an Australian self-serve yogurt bar. Grand opening happening at the end of this month (This was also another media invite).
Photo credit link
Water Park and or A Swimming Pool
Photo Credit Link
It's a natural delight to the kids when it comes to water, I cannot explain why. But since it's not an expensive activity, or rather most of it are FOC, so why not?

Visits to the National Library 
I need my kids to be quiet at times, best activity would be to read! hah! What better to do than to visit the library and cart a load-ful of books home and kick up the legs and read!

We really have no lack of places and things to do even when we are in Singapore during the June school holidays! All it takes is some planning and creativity! *wink*

Monday, May 04, 2015

Healthy Living Through Healthy Eating

I have been down with flu which later developed into stomach flu that incapacitated me for almost 2 weeks! I felt weak, breaking out in cold perspiration, feeling nauseated and dizzy most of the time. I threw up my dinner and had the runs so often! It was HORRIBLE! This episode, has once again reminded me the importance of good health, it is after all the temple of our Lord's Holy Spirit, which means it's important how we take care of our body.
"Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price, therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's" ~ 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 
I've been diagnosed as a diabetic for almost 2 years now. Diabetes is not unfamiliar to me. My late paternal grandma, dad and uncle all passed on due to complications derived from the chronic disease. For the whole of my 2 pregnancies previously, I had to be on insulin jabs twice a day and I've to test my blood glucose on alternate days 3x a day for the entire gestation period.

Since my late dad's passing, I wanted a life free of jabs and medication, free of being bedridden, free of being a burden to myself and people dear to me, free of being unable to consume this or eat that because my health forbade me to. I felt a nudge to take care of my health, I tried to adjust but wasn't very committed to stick on with a healthier diet. My appetite for desserts, deep fried food and seafood grew so big that I scare myself, literally! I indulge in everything that my appetite desired.
Photo credit link
I heaped up 5kg of weight on myself just within a year and I was desperate to shed them all off. Not for vanity reasons but really, my diabetes condition was a gnawing thought hanging on my mind all the time, it wouldn't let up.

The nudging became a literal push when my dear hubby bought me this book.
My eyes were opened to the truth that it is not God's design for us to be sick. Through "What the Bible says about Healthy Living", I've gained loads of insights on how our diet and habits of food intake have so much impact on our health. It can go either way, much to our own doing.

I am now determined to reverse my diabetes condition and I have set my mind to commit to a healthier dieting habit. I will submit in obedience to only consume what God has created as food for us, minimise the reliance of heavily processed food/ingredients, and will resolve not to indulge or even get addicted to food.

Before I fell ill recently, I've started to go meatless in at least one meal a day and even with meat in our meals, I cut out pork and seafood. I've cut out oily breakfast food such as prata, chwee kueh and I've also cut out sugary and deep fried snacks and have instead snacked on fruits, vegetables, chick peas, seeds and nuts. I've also cut back on the usage of processed condiments/premixed sauces.

I am not surprise how such adjustments have brought me much more energy than before. I feel less sluggish and was able to keep up with the demands as a mom and wife better. Yes, I do get hungry more often but it's also forced me to take multiple smaller meals each day, which in fact is ideal for a diabetic.

From this week onwards, together with my family, we will commit to eating meatless weeknight dinners for the entire month of May. I've come to realised that with a little planning and loads of determination, healthy eating habits can be build up.

I am sharing the principles I based on for our meatless weeknight dinner meal plan and of course recipes in my other blog so do hop over and read in detail.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Five For 2015

For a long time, I've been planning, deliberating, procrastinating and the process repeated itself over and over again till I felt suffocated emotionally and physically.

What am I talking about? I've made a decision to stick to the one word focus in my spiritual walk this year but have still been wishy washy about the changes I desperately need to make in my practical life.
So when my good friend, Rachel, started this blog train - 15/5 Things I Will Do Differently in 2015, I knew it is now or never to just hit the road and work out the changes!
Offering grace and patience towards my children have been something I've struggled with for many years now. Looking in retrospect, I've spent far too much time reprimanding them vs laughing with them. 
It will be for me a time henceforth to quit sweating over the small stuff and to enjoy my children's company, relish the days and not let it slip by in regret. 

Too many books are sitting on the bookshelf collecting dust from months and even years of neglect. Yes, I am guilty as charged in being completely drawn away by the alluring social media and world wide web.
I've started to pick up a book that I now have been glued to. My all time favourite author Sally Clarkson, blessing me with loads of inspirations on how to be a better mom!

Being a chronic hoarder - yes I hoard everything, from kitchen towels, to stationeries, to craft items, to detergent, hand soap, electrical appliances, bake wares, cooking ingredients, books, to even tissue paper..... the list never ends... 

I want to be a better stewart of the gifts and blessings God has given me. I've made a promise to myself to buy need basis and not base on wants. 

Still in the middle of giving away more of items that I've hoarded yet have no use of, but am progressing!

When one steps into my home, it's not difficult to realise that I manage the home clutter in stacks of organised mess! And YES it has to change! 

It feels wonderfully good when some major areas in my home has FINALLY been organised and has been cleared of clutter! I am especially proud of my kitchen counter, refrigerator, kitchen cabinets, laundry room (aka Service Balcony), bookshelves in my study, the reorganisation process was really fun and most satisfying! 

The key I have learned was to put everything back to its proper place right after use that way I wouldn't accumulate clutter.

There's still much work to be done reorganising and organise my home, I know I am progressing!

There is going to be more homecooked meals from this year on. I am (and even my children are) sick and tired of takeaway meals. 
I used to cook only dinner for my family, I have however, decided to prepare a few days worth of lunches over each week, working to make time for it.

Read about the positive changes 33 other moms from Singapore Mom Bloggers have and are going to share on their blogs and be inspired!

Next on the "15/5 Things I Will Do Differently in 2015" Blog Train will be Rachael of Growing Up with JahBella. Rachael is a full-time working mum with 2 kids (Jah - going on 4 and Bella going on 2). As a couple. Rachael and her husband have ticked quite a number of boxes when it comes to dating and marriage challenges, think a 3 year long distance relationship and an inter-racial marriage and wedding to boot. But no one quite prepared them for the roller-coaster ride, in the form of two super funny, super opinionated, super energetic, and definitely super opposites little versions of themselves! Rachael blogs about her parenting journey, family travels/experiences and her hilarious conversations with Jah and Bella. Read about the 15 things that JahBella's mummy will be doing differently in 2015 on her blog tomorrow!

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Deaf Becomes Me - Not

The ability to hear has always been something so natural, so unnoticeable, something that I take for granted always until one morning, 3 months ago, I woke up with a heavy pressure on my right ear. All I hear on my right ear is a high pitched ringing sound and muffled sounds from the environment.

The pressure was much like how we feel when take a flight while ascending/descending, and the muffled sounds from the environment sounded like when we are under water.
Photo Credit Link
The first 2 days of the experience was scary. I thought I was about to lose my hearing - forever! I insisted on seeing the doctor immediately; the doctor did a very swift check and told me it was the ear wax that had blocked the passage, he assured me it would take about a week or less for me to recover after I've applied the ear drops for dissolving ear wax.
One week gone by, no signs of healing, pressure on the ear came and went after a few days. I saw at least 4 GPs (General Practitioners) for this ear problem over a span of 4 weeks. One said it could be a viral infection of the inner ear, the next said it was Vertigo/Tinnitus. None could give me a proper diagnosis and suggest a cure.

Finally one GP, according to my description of the problem, told me, it could be Meniere's disease, which upon research, sounded more like a right diagnosis for my problem. To my great dismay though, there's no cure for Meniere's disease!!!

Nonetheless, I went to an ENT specialist finally. After a nose & ear scope and hearing test, a few medications prescribed, and after spending $500 the problem still persisted. It got even worse on some days. This was the time, I knew I could only turn to God, my heavenly Father, the master healer!

And to my great comfort, I woke up one morning while turning to my devotion, God showed me His message to my cries.

For a whole 3 months, the ear pressure problem bothered me almost every other day, some weeks even at least 5 days a week. It was so bad that it was affecting my mood and I felt overwhelmed all the time by the demands of the day while managing the ailment. That's when I realize how much I needed God's strength to see me through the hard times. I am grateful for His blessing of a great group of ladies whom I can constantly rely on for prayer needs and support. This episode has also taught me to remain faithful and trust only in Him (my Heavenly Father) because what men cannot do, He can!

Incidentally, it was also during this period, I chanced upon this quote.
There's no coincidence in all these subtle messages that I get along the way of my hearing problem. It was an admonishment by God that it was time to heed His Word, and stick to my one word commitment - ie. Obedience!

The last review I had at the ENT specialist, it was discovered that some dead skin was crowding around my right ear drum and the doctor had it removed just a week ago, but the ear pressure continued on for a few more days. 

Within this period, I prayed, listened to & sang worship songs regarding healing and have felt God's loving grace upon me. He is good, since 4 days ago to date (still counting), I've experienced pressure-free on my right ear and I wake up unable to thank God enough for His mercies and grace!

If you are also facing sicknesses or have anyone you know who is sick, do read more about the ministry that my dear friend Rachel and I are in. We'd be happy to hear from you and help pray for the people that matter to you. Here's the link to read more about how our ministry works.

Monday, January 12, 2015

One Word - 365 Days

A brand new year has begun, I know, it's already been 2 weeks into year 2015. I didn't want to make any resolutions, nope! Not for me. For ermm... I cannot even remember when, I've stopped making resolutions that I cannot even keep nor remember after a few weeks into a brand new year.

Not so long ago, Danessa, one of the ladies in our Titus 2 ladies' fellowship group suggested to the group of us to take on a challenge for the brand new year by seeking the Lord for ONE WORD to focus on everyday, for the entire year of 2015. One word that sums up how I want to live. The one word will become the compass to direct my decisions and guide my steps.

For about 2 years now, the one word that kept on surfacing in my spirit every time I do my personal devotion, speak to a fellow christian mom during our regular meet ups and even through the kids' devotion materials, I heard God clearly! The one word is -
Photo credit link
Something I struggled with a whole lot and even more! Which explains why, this word just kept on pricking my conscience and heart for a good 2 years (yes, I am THAT stubborn!).
Photo credit link
It's always easier when I do things my way, at my preferred time, when it's the most convenient to me. Unfortunately, that's not how it should be in my christian walk. To add onto the emphasis, God sent this message to me via a dear sister-in-Christ just today (it's definitely no coincidence!)
"Old habits are hard to break, new ones are harder to learn, and sometimes we don't want to do either... God is faithful and will continue to teach us new ways, His ways..."
I know there's no way for me to turn away from my submission to God's call to be obedient. While it's not going to be easy, but I am taking baby steps towards obeying Him. One wise friend said and I quote "it's better to progress than to seek for perfection..." (not her exact words but that's the gist).
Photo credit link
Just what is it to obey God? Obeying Him is to take actions of what He's commanded us or when He springs us a surprise on an "assignment"eg. being a mom and taking on all the mom-sy responsibilities and submitting to our husbands even when we don't agree fully, we are to then do it with joy and not complain, even when it's inconvenient, not what we have planned for or not something we enjoy doing. Obedience is...
Photo credit link
It's no surprise that after 2 weeks of Year 2015, I am still struggling but with prayer and perseverance I will count my steps towards being obedient to my Heavenly Father effortlessly.