Today is our 53rd year of indepandence. Indepandence from???? British colonialism, of course! But as we reflect back, are we really indepandent/merdeka?

I was brought up in a Convent school where I mixed with students of all races. I had no problem interacting with them and colour definitely is not a problem to me. My friends were Jeyarani, Revathi, Suseela, Siti Faridah, Halijah, Salamiah and not to mention Julie, Lai Hua, Ching, Ding and many many more of variety colours.

I remembered one weekend, Halijah (my best friend that time) decided that we would have a picnic. She packed her food and I packed mine. She cycled to my house and we walked to a little field on the way to the Malay kampung. We picnicked next to some cowdung!!! We were not bothered and had such fun yacking.

On Hari Raya, some of us would cycle to the kampung to visit Puan Saodah, our Maths teacher. How we adored her because she was so sweet, petite and gentle (before she married). We would sit cross legged on the floor as she served us rendang and we ate with our fingers. Then we would just lepak in her house and played congkak.

Come Deepavali, we would take the bus to Pundut Estate to visit Revathi and then take the bus back to town and changed to the bus to Ayer Tawar to visit Suseela. How I loved these times as I love spicy food. I enjoyed the thosai, idly and of course the curry.

I ran round the neighbourhood barefooted with my Indian neighbours and played masak-masak with them. I ate in their house if my mother came home late and there was no food on the table. They were never hesitant to lay out an extra plate or two (Ing would always be there too).

Then there was the Malay family down the lane who worked for McCullogh. All boys...I only remembered Rudy. Ing would call the boys 'abang' and got my mom all worried. But that didn't stop us girls from playing combat with them!

Today when I talk about patriotism in class, I get very unpatriotic responses. I fail to see the sense of pride for the country, the flag, the national anthem. Whose fault is it?

Actually the older we get, the more colours we see. We forget to be colour blind and thus pass on the colour codes to the younger generation. It is not the fault of the adults only, it should be equally shouldered by the administrators of the country. Who we are and what we have become is not the work of certain people but the whole society and nation. Who makes up the society and nation? The rakyat and the rulers.

So are we merdeka?? What are we not indepandent of now? Colour, status, name?? We are still colonised by ourselves......


MERDEKA!!!!!

JALUR GEMILANG ....

Are we getting better or worse? Let each patriotic Malaysian work towards harmony and equality regardless of who we are and may our leaders stay true to the ideals of a leadership that is fair, true and of integrity. (Hmm....do I sound like a hypocrite?) This is the Malaysia that I dream of.
The church organised the Alpha Marriage Course (which ended last weekend) recently. This is an 8/9 weeks course (how forgetful, I've forgotten). As many as 13 couples signed up for it. The course was held in Royale Bintang.
The backdrop....the date changes every week.

The content showing the topics for each week. The first week was the introductory course and the last week was the celebration cum graduation course. (not listed in the content).

The participants listened to watch a video on the appropriate topic conducted by Nicky and his wife Sila. In between, the video will paused for discussion between the couples. It is totally private and confidential.


Sila Lee...


The course starts with dinner. As this is held in a hotel, there is not much work for the helpers in this area except we did try to serve the participants coffee during the discussion time but later found it better to have the professionals doing it. So the waiters/waitresses took over.


The setting.....it is supposed to be romantic; candle lights with dim lights. Very nice. When I was the participant many years ago, it was held in the Youth Center. The helpers had a lot of work to do preparing the ambience.

So this is how it is like....a romantic dinner.




Participants were given nametags like this.

This whole course was handled and coordinated by Justine and Eric Ting. At the time this picture was taken; Eric was away for a month....Justine had to managed on her own.
































I found this bookmark in a store in Oxford. This is what it says:
WHY STUDY?
The more I study
The more I know

The more I know
The more I forget

The more I forget
The less I know

So why study?
Across our house is a stretch of secondary jungle. The king scout promised his son a long time ago that he will take him into the woods and climb the hill there. Today was the auspicous day.
(The promise was made three years ago).


This is the jungle and here is where the adventure begins...



One has to be prepared before going into the jungle....glove, parang...and a smile!!!


What is that finger pointing to? He must have seen something....I think I see it too!



Wow!!!! A big spider. He claims it to be the biggest spider he has ever seen. In our fast paced world where entertainment comes in a click and it has to be instant; I am glad that my son still finds discovering nature a wonder.



It's a red leaf...different from the others. He used his parang to cut branches like this as they made their way in.




This was as far as they went. See our house in the distance.



When they returned after half an hour, there was so much plan in their brains. They are returning into the jungle soon to build a tree house! After that they plan to camp in there...(hmmm...).



A closer look at the plan. I wonder if the tree looked as simple as this and building a tree house is as simple as it sounds! They are going to ask Uncle Albert to sell them some old wood (hahaha).
It's really good to see the boys enjoying their evening together doing something as simple as this. Looking at how teenagers grow now and how attached they are to the world of internet and computers; I am very thankful that my boy still finds this entertaining. May we find joy in doing simple things like this.









I have been on the Facebook for two years or so now. It was Irene Chen who started me on it. She is my penpal from primary school. What started off as connecting with people whom I know has now gone totally off course. I wanted to keep my group of friends small; limit it to family and close friends only. Unfortunately, this just can't be done.

Today I opened up my fb to find that the friend request has gone beyond 150. I really can't be confirming every person who requests as I don't know, or don't remember almost all of them. A majority of the requests are from students; past and present. The problem with these people is; they do not use their own name and pictures. I have foreign names with beautiful faces staring at me (I don't think I know of anybody from Twilight or Hindustani actresses) and I have not the slightest idea who they are suppose to represent. I don't want to press the ignore button (unless I am very sure I know that I don't know them).

What shall I do? If I ignore them; would they know that I have ignored them? If they are my students in school, they may feel rejected and I don't want any of my students to have the feeling that I have rejected them (which is not true; of course).

One reason I have stopped being active in fb is I have lost my privacy....then again the cyber world is not meant to be private.
On 17th August 2010 at 3 plus in the morning, my nephew Ong and his wife, Janne became the proud parents of Wesley Pang. This bundle of joy weighs 4.1kg!!!! That's a real heavy baby.

Ong is the firstborn for his generation from my family. Wesley is also the firstborn for his generation for my family. My family is the maternal family for Ong as he is born into the Pang family. This has automatically elevated our status....my parents are now great grandparents, of course my sister and brother-in-law are grandparents now and my siblings and I are grand aunts and uncles. I told Dan that he is now an uncle and he reacted, ' What? I'm too young to be an uncle!'

Come to think of it, I was Dan's age (11) when Ong was born. Both Ing and I helped sis to babysit him. He was a real chubby and cute baby.

Wesley is an old English name. It is the family name of the founder of Methodism; John Wesley. Here is a famous quote of John Wesley : make all you can, save all you can, give all you can.


Introducing the newest addition to the family : Wesley Pang.


Here is the picture of his father .... see the similarity... especially the nose. Couldn't find any baby pictures of Ong, this is the closest that I can get of him in his young age. Don't have any pictures of Janne; so I can only make a comparison with the father.

CONGRATULATIONS TO PETER AND JANNE!
I baked two loaves of bread today. Need two loaves to feed the whole family. I thought I have this recipe in my blog but it was just the picture. So decided I might as well put the recipe down so I will not forget.

I have been baking bread for years. But none of the recipes which I used earlier are with me....somehow I lost them. Maybe by blogging them, I will not lose the recipes anymore when I try out new ones. Bad habit of forgetting the old ones when I start a new recipe which I like.

Again; this is for AJ7. I just remembered I tried a cappocino orange bread which is nice but didn't bake it anymore as Dan doesn't like the slight coffee taste in it. Will try it again soon and blog the pic and recipe.


1 egg plus enough water to equal 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp sugar (I use slightly lesser so it won't be so sweet)
1 tbsp margarine
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
2 1/4 c bread flour plus 1 tbsp
1 tbsp dry milk
3/4 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup walnut halves
1 tsp yeast

I bake it at 1kg weight...turns out ok. Slightly more dense than poppy seed loaf because it has lots of chocolate chip in it and also walnut.
This evening we had hula hoop competition. The first contestant was .....

Master Dan....showing off his skills and cute movements.


Followed by Mr Lim....over- confident contestant. He was real confident of winning.


Then Ms Lyn reluctantly took the hoop and twirled it around effortlessly.
Finally....the last but not least.....Ms Ting.....unfortunately nobody wanted to take a picture of her.
And the results......Master Dan managed to keep the hoop round his tubby waist for 30.4 seconds. The over-confident Mr Lim clocked in 20.8 seconds; much to his dismay and disappointment. Ms Lyn....drum roll.......did it in 3.25 minutes!!!!!!! (She requested to stop because she had enough of it). Sadly, the final contestant couldn't even keep the hoop round her waist even though the size of her hips beat the rest, it didn't help to keep the hoop around her. Anyway....she is not discouraged, if she can get the hoop to stay, she will belanja the whole family makan besar at Kensington!

This is the loaf of poppy seed bread I baked just now. It's our favourite. (I have only two recipes which I use; no time to test out the rest). Makes good sandwiches. Below is the recipe; specially for AJ7.
1 cup water
1/4 vegetable oil
1tsp vanilla essence
1 tsp margarine
11/2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
3 c bread flour
1 tsp milk powder
2 tbsp poppy seed
2 tsp yeast
Bake at 1kg weight; takes 3.25hrs.
(Remember to scrape down the sides when the machine is in kneading mode).


How I met Jackie


One not so fine but fine day [it was kind of cloudy and a bit sunny], while I was coming home from school .I heard a mesterious woof .I decided to folow the woof. I arrived at the wildest river on earth .There I saw the most cutest puppy hanging on tree brunch. I climb up the tree to bring the puppy down[as I was climbing the tree I was wondering how on earth did the puppy climb up the tree]. I suddenly sliped and fell into the river. The next thing I knew I fainted. When I woke up I was in the hospital. At that time I saw the puppy and my mother coming in. I ask her how long did I faint. She told me that I fainted for 2 days. I have name the puppy Jackie. Now Jackie follows me every where I go[I still Wonder how it got up the tree]. I am glad that I save Jackie. Now Jackie is a full grown dog .



The essay above is written by Dan inspired by Lyn. He is hoping to send it to the NST for the column on acts of kindness. If it is published, he will get RM100 and he is desperate for it! I have yet to edit it for him. Thought I will just post it in its original form.

I'm doing this review on behalf of Dan. This book is meant for kids aged 6-10. When he read that he said he's too old to read it. I insisted that it is good for him and made him read it.

Haha...no regrets! He enjoyed it so much. He read some of the stories to me (which I didn't hear; as usual). He said some of the stories are real sad like the one where the friend moved away and the other one where the bird flew away (?).

I am so proud that he could finish the book which has minimum pictures. Asked if he wants to read more, I could borrow from the library; he said no. Sigh.

The school library is stocked with a variety of Chicken Soups. Selling like hotcakes. Introduced them to the Form 1 students and now I see so many of them holding the books. So good to see students reading.
Passed by a class today and saw the teacher sleeping...literally. The head was on the table and blissfully unaware of the things around. Students were totally happy talking to each other. It was only slightly past 8am.

The effects of fasting?
Suddenly somebody in the family is bitten by the exercise bug. An hour after dinner, he started doing tummy exercises (and wet my floor), then he took the hula hoop and let it turn round his tummy a few times....next he went on the twisting disc and tried twisting (which wasn't much of twisting). At his age if he exercises seriously, I believe he will be trim in no time. Unfortunately he is not much of an exercise person (none of us are) and very hangat-hangat tahi ayam.

At my age, it's definitely much harder to shed that extras. Infact my exercise routine is almost the same for the past 3 years but my weight seems to increase with the years. I blame it on the slowing down of my metabolism rate. If I were to compare my diet to others around me; it's actually shocking to know how little I eat and how healthy my diet is. Oats, muesli and yoghurt for breakfast, coffee and fruits in between, bread for lunch and a spoon of rice for dinner with lots of vegetables, soup and fish. If I eat less than this, I'll starve!
Dan wants to iron his own blue shirt and asked me to teach him. Showed him how to iron just now and he managed almost all on his own ironing two shirts.

All this is the result of being a prefect. The novelty of it....he thinks he should be indepandent and do more things on his own. I'm not protesting; I think this is really good. Who knows I don't need to employ Mila to do my ironing anymore!!! (Haha...fat chance....my clothes will be ruined).

I wonder how long this will keep up. Anyway as he pushed the iron around the shirt, I watched and guided him and showed him how to turn the shirt around and how much pressure to put on the iron. Just so afraid that the iron will topple and drop on his feet or he irons his cute stubby fingers.


The little boy who is a grown pre-teen ironing his shirt.
What do I remember of my Arts class? I hated it! Mr Chiew was my Arts teacher for a couple of years. He insisted that in every picture there must be a figure to make the picture alive. I can't draw figures! After labouring over my drawing; it would be totally spoilt when I started painting it with water colour. Another problem which I had in Arts was I didn't know how to control the water colour and the brush. How I dreaded Arts!!

Arts class today is totally different. There is not just water colour painting, students are allowed to use a variety of medium as long as the task is fulfilled. Last weekend, Lyn was working on cutting and pasting coloured papers. The topic was to make a wrapping paper. The result is as below!!


Looks good to me. No figures or colouring involved. Just cut and paste!!!! I'm sure I would have enjoyed Arts if all I have to do is just cut and paste. (Ok...she complains it is a back breaking work.)