Wen brought back two boxes of 'dinosaur bones' ... all the way from Taiwan last year for my kids. They are not new to my kids...we bought a set of such bones for Dan when we visited Petrosains long time ago. Then they also helped Jason and Emily to dig for their dino bones.

These bones are not light. Really appreciate Wen's effort in remembering my kids even when she's on holiday. Sometimes I think that my nephews and nieces forgot that my kids are not kids/toddlers any more but teenagers going into adulthood soon....

Anyway...last holiday they decided to open up their boxes of dinosaurs and do some digging. It was good activity as it kept them occupied the whole morning. So despite the fact that they are teens going into adulthood, my kids still are kids at heart and they actually enjoyed this simple fun and play. I think they enjoyed each other's company the most as they dug and washed and dug some more and made a mess of the whole porch.

This is the box with tools and bones stuck in hard soil...solid hard!!!

Here's one of them cleaning off the soil/ chipping it off. I think he's using his finger to scrape some off.


Here is another process.....washing it off with water and further scraping ....


Some parts of the dinosaurs finally excavated after a long while. Lyn said she didn't even use the brush.


The dino head and some other parts...There is the contact glue to paste the various parts of the dino together. The black thingy is the stand where the dino head is to be placed for exhibition. I didn't get to take a picture of the final product as they had to let it dry before glueing them together.


Anyway....the balance of the contact glue was finally used to glue my loose parquets upstairs. The dino is somewhere outside in the porch I think.


That was one of the activities the kids did last holiday ...something real 'kiddish'... but fun.









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On the second day of CNY, Annie sent a message around calling friends of our batch to meet at Old Town Kopitiam near Giant. I reached there pretty late (after barbeque in my eldest sis' place). The place was crowded with people having their own reunion too. The twenties, forties and sixties were there....not forgetting the teens like my kids in a corner playing mahjong while waiting for me.

I walked in and this sexy lady looked straight at me and asked, Remember me or not? Searched my memory bank...yeah...that face is very very familiar. I know her but, I told her straight, I don't remember your name!!! I looked around and recognize everybody except one lady. I felt real bad....so scared I may offend her but she wasn't in my memory bank at all. Then when they said her name, Vijaya Rani; the mind went snap snap snap....oh yes the very skinny girl in school but she's not that skinny now! She looks so different from what I remembered of her and I think much better looking now.

Some of us met quite a few times the past few years but there are some whom I have not met for at least 30 years!!! Wow...that long ago. Seow Ling is one of them. Used to be a tomboy but she was one of the first among us to marry. Revathi.....I've fond memories of going to her house in Pundut for Deepavali. Would take a bus there. Malini has four kids now!! Used to visit her house too with my Ma who did business with her father. Chew Yee, still the same...not one to hold back her tongue. Such memories we dug up as we sat and chat. And of course the sexy lady whose name I forgot...Chew Lan. She has always been more daring than us in her dressing.
Some of the faces....Wendy, Lillian, Ling Kiang, Annie and I have been in touch through various gatherings and facebook.

Vijaya and Malini went off to get Revathi to join us later on. From the eleven of us, five of them are in Sitiawan. The rest of us are mostly in the central of the country. Later when I was about to leave, Chin Kiew decided to join us. She didn't see the missed calls and messages as she left her phone upstairs and she was downstairs all the time. Asked me why didn't I call her house...hmmm....I forgot her house phone number. (Used to remember most of my friends phone numbers!!!) Chin Kiew managed to reach the place (all the way from Simpang Dua) to meet some of the girls. I had already left as the kids had played 7 rounds of mahjong and Dan kept winning.



The dragon year is here. Two dragons in my family....my ma and my eldest brother in Vancouver; (correction: three dragons in the family, I forgot my niece, Clareen in Vancouver).

Thought I had better put this down before I forget. Before CNY I was telling my colleagues, dont know how much our children will follow the traditions that we do now. That also mine is very very watered down version.

Before CNY is spring cleaning...especially when I was young. Eldest sis will make us work and work and work; turning the house upside down and sparkling clean. Before the first day of New Year comes about, the house will be mopped again and the garbage bin cleaned out. Now, I get my maid to do the cleaning. I just order her around. As for major cleaning like curtains and sofa, I had them washed during the December holiday. So still clean. Don't have to touch them.

On CNY eve, in the afternoon will be 'gohoon' for lunch. It's a combination of beehoon and meesuah. This is Hinghwa food. KC is part Hinghwa...so my MIL carries on this tradition. It's to stick the family together. I've yet to cook this dish as MIL has been cooking it all the years. Will be trying it out soon as my family thinks that I need to know how to cook this dish.

Evening time will be reunion dinner. This year we held it in our house as MIL is not too well. We had steamboat; original and tomyam flavour. Of course a reunion dinner is a must. Told the kids wherever they will be next time, they have to come home for it.

Next day is angpow time. Kids will get angpow and blessings from us, parents. Then we will take family photos, as usual. We try our very best to be dressed in red. I don't keep to having everything new for the new year. We are happy going around in our old new clothes and slippers...but I try to get as many new items for us as possible.

Then we go over to Uncle Hoe's house for meesuah breakfast. This is oyster+scallop+meat soup...the Hinghwa meesuah is fat; unlike the Foochow meesuah which is thin and fine. Dan prefers Hinghwa meesuah. Lyn loves both meesuah. We will lepak there till noon time. The kids have been picking up mahjong and some other card games here every year. This is something which my side of the family never do. Cards are banned in our Sitiawan home....only my kids bring cards to play!!

Later in the evening, we will journey home to my side of the family in Sitiawan to 'painien'.

Oh yes...cookies and mandarin oranges are most important. I try baking some every year but I still need to buy lots of them. Not forgetting keropok and acar. This year keropok supply has gone real low.

This is how I try to keep the CNY tradition in my family.
I ended my History classes today with an assignment; 'Go home and watch 'The Emperor and the Assassin' this CNY!!!

When school starts again after the one week break, the Form 4 students and I will be visiting the ancient Hwang Ho civilization where this name Shih Huang Ti will be mentioned. This movie is about him and his ruthless effort in unifying China. How true the facts are...we will never know but at least this will spur their interest in History (I hope so...).

Funny how this great emperor is portrayed as a childish and spoilt king but behind his tantrum is an evil and hardened heart. I do believe for a man to be able to unify such a great kingdom he had to be cruel, ruthless and hard but....childish or even gila-gila??

'Reign of the Assassin' was the second movie I watched; introduced by my kids. Our very own Michelle Yeoh is the leading lady here. Think she is a bit too matured looking for the role. Anyway nice kung-fu movie but nothing historical here I think.

Found both movies in youtube and they have sub-titles. This is the season where I look for such movies to watch. The next movie I would like to re-watch is Red Cliff.

Blessed Lunar New Year everyone!!!!
I know it's Wednesday today, not Monday but I want to blog about what happened on Monday.

I am in the discipline committee again this year (they just won't let me off, why? why? why?) So I can't sit with the other teachers and yack away. As I had injured my foot, I sat in the canteen and watched the girls from the canteen. HEM came my way and informed me that the fan in 4 Sigma was left on over the weekend....I am the class teacher. I noted it and told myself to call up the monitor and question her.

All of a sudden, I saw a row of girls standing up and the Principal was scolding them for not turning off their fan. My heart did a flip....then I heard her voice....'who is the class teacher of 4 Sigma?' I waved from the canteen. Sigh...I thought I could escape this and reprimand the class quietly.

Upon investigation, we found that the switch for that particular fan is not functioning properly. To make sure that it goes totally off, need to turn the speed control to zero. I lodged a report about the faulty switch to the office; I wonder how long it will take them to bring about the repairs.

As punishment, the girls are not allowed to use the fans from Wednesday to Friday. Is it fair? Well, I think it's ok....one has to bear the consequences of one's carelessness. It's good that the girls learn early to be responsible and accountable for their class.

An interesting start to being the class teacher of 4 Sigma!!!
Me : do you think my job as a mother is tough?
Dan : Ya...that's why it's the highest paying job. It's paid with love.
Me : Wow!!! You really know how to tug my heart.
Dan : Oh.. I read it in the newspaper.
This is the second book by Monica Ali that I have read. The first was Brick Lane.

When a celebrity dies, does one wonder if there is any conspiracy involved in the death? I try explaining conspiracy theory to Daniel....take Michael Jackson's death for an example. What if he faked his death because he is so ashamed that he has turned black again and he just couldn't face the public? Lame example...the kids groaned and argued with me as to why he turned white.

Back to the book; it's a little like the MJ example I gave. This story is about Princess Diana....what if she didn't die but was hiding away somewhere under another identity.....

It is written from the view of three persons....Lydia (the identity Diana took), Lawrence Standing (her private secretary and 'partner in crime') and Grabber...the paparazzi who followed her for 17 years while she was alive and found her again 10 years after her death.

A book that is totally different from all others that I have read. Exciting and left me breathless especially towards the ending part when she finally realised that the paparazzi was after her again.

Monica Ali twists the story so well that at the end the hunter becomes the hunted.

Overall, the story exudes a sense of sadness, hopelessness and helplessness....makes me sad to think of Princess Diana and the life she led.

Well, how did it end....very very interesting...you have to read for yourself to find out. I love this book. (The thing about book reviews is you can't tell too much or you'll spoil the book and it's no longer worth reading.)

Thanks Lyn for an excellent choice; I wouldn't have bought it had I seen it on the shelf. Shows that you have great taste in choosing books!!!!
This is a real late update ... better late than never.

Christmas came and went...what is left are pictures as memories. Last year we had our usual Christmas dinner on Christmas day itself as Ah Yean had to work on Christmas Eve. It was BBQ again...KC loves BBQ. His intention was for everybody to gather around the pit and BBQ their own food but as usual everybody waited for him to bring the food to them.

Mother in law and mother waiting for food.


Clams....we like it bloody; not dried and overcooked. BBQ clams are really delicious. I prepared sauce; made from chopped garlic, chillies with soya sauce and vinegar. Great dip for clams.



Flower crabs, bacon and prawns. I love the flower crabs the most. Had many many rounds of it. It doesn't get overcooked when BBQ. In the restaurant, they would smear Marmite over the BBQ crab...maybe I should try it too. I seasoned the crabs with salt and chilly powder. So it's chilly crab. As for the prawns, it was drunken prawns because I poured a generous portion of red wine onto it.


Squids and Japanese sweet potatoes wrapped in foil. The sweet potatoes were very good; sweet and soft. The squids didn't turn out well, turned a bit mushy. So we kept it away.


Chilly crabs on the fire....


Big fat hungarian sausages...nice but really meaty and thick. Had to make sure it was really cooked otherwise it would still be cold inside.


The drinks.....we had Jolly Shandy, Anglia Shandy, 100 Plus, iced lemon tea and red wine. The most popular drink was Jolly Shandy.


The keropok.....a must snack for all occassions...


The Christmas tree, each year the presents seem to get lesser...not because we give less but the way we give seems different as the kids grow. Uncle Hoe and MIL didn't buy presents last year but gave angpows instead. (Somehow when angpows are given during Christmas; it's just not so exciting and Christmassy.) Lyn didn't have any presents wrapped under the tree from KC and I because we took her to buy her Sony Ericsson Mini Pro after Christmas.



Finally...for the album...a family photo of the Lims and two daughters-in-law. The family has grown smaller; we lost Uncle Ping and father in law over the years....One of these days, I will scan a photo which has everyone in it; for memories' sake.



That was 2011....


















Last year December, I visited the Arulrajah home for carolling. While I was looking at their collection of photos, this particular one caught my eye. The two brothers...Joshua and Rosheen. I first met them when I joined Seremban Wesley about 16 years ago. They would follow their mum, Joanna, to church. They would be dressed like twins though one is older than the other.

The photo that caught my attention : the two boys dressed like identical twins. See the naughty look on their faces; nothing has changed except for the sizes and dressing!!!! (I have permission from them and their mum to post this picture).



Here they are, sixteen years later....the cute little boys that I knew; who are not at all little now. They are big and loud as the picture shows. Trust them to do all the loud parts during carolling. But I find them to be very gentle giants actually....Joshua's big heart for his mum, Rosheen's patience in walking his grandma into church and their readiness to do all the heavy stuff thrown to them.




I couldn't resist taking this picture....the gigantic shoe compared to mine!!




How time flies especially when we observe those around us as they grow. A reminder to myself to slow down in 2012 to enjoy those around me and appreciate them more.






Almost slipped and fell in the staff room. The foot twisted. After an hour it got worse. I went to see a singseh who rubbed some oil and bandaged it with some smelly paste.