It all started last Thursday when we were out shopping and Lyn asked if she should get a set of puzzles. We told her to get it as we owe her a christmas present. So that was how this 1000piece came home.

Long ago when I first got married, KC and I also spent many evenings doing jigsaw puzzles. I remember two....van Gogh's sunflower and another one of a bicycle with flowers. Decorated the walls of the house at Tasik Jaya for 10 years.
The beginning.....

 Dan did this almost all on his own. Heffalump or Lumpy....


Eeyore....each member of the family is like one of these Pooh Bear characters. We have one like Eeyore.

 Tigger and Pooh....think there are two Tiggers around.

 Most adorable Piglet....Rabbit, Kanga and Roo are missing. 
....tadaaa...finally it is done. From Saturday to Tuesday...a total of four days. Totally de-stressing and exciting for us. Working together as a family is so much fun. Lyn put the final pieces together!!!! 

We are sending it for framing and hoping to place it in the living room wall before CNY. Next project is 2000 piece!!
Ma had been pestering me to make long ngien....yesterday she changed tactic. Instead of pestering, she said, "I'll cook long ngien for you tomorrow." I looked at her stunned....she is on wheel chair and she has not cooked for years. How on earth is she going to cook for me? That was how desperate she was to eat long ngien. It worked!! I felt bad and decided that I will cook long ngien for her today.
 I beat four eggs in a bowl. (Ma was bossing me the whole time. She thought I didn't know how to make the noodle. When I told her I used three eggs, she said four eggs will make the noodle nicer. So I added another egg.) Put in 500g of tapioca flour and two tablespoons of flour. Flour will help to harden the noodle a little but not too hard so that it still has its slippery texture. Add enough water to get a thick but runny consistency.
 Put a little oil in the wok...very little. Ladle out the batter and turn the wok/pan so that it thins out. If it's difficult to thin out, it means the batter is too thick. Just add a little water. Adding water has to be done quite often as it tends to thicken towards the end.

Flip over and then bring it out of the pan. Roll it up immediately...this is challenging as it's quite hot. If it cools it hardens and it will be difficult to roll. I am able to roll, put another ladle of batter in to the wok and cut the rolled up noodle while waiting for the batter in the wok to cook.
 This is how it looks like when it is all cut up. When we were in Vancouver, we did a whole batch of it and stored it away. We brought it along when we went on our Rockies road trip. When we stopped for dinner, brought it out, boiled anchovy stock, throw in vegetables and the noodle....dinner is ready!!
This is the final product. I boiled lala stock. Then I fried ginger, added slices of chicken. Poured in some rice wine before pouring the stock in. Added fishballs, stuffed taufupok, vegetables to the soup. Finally throw in the noodle. Ma says can't find such nice long ngien in Sitiawan.

At the end of the meal, she asked, "When are you getting kompian?" ........lol...I don't know how to make kompian and there is no way I can find it in Seremban!!!!!
Today the school gave away the RM100 bantuan to students. Letters to parents stated that the event will start at 145pm. Parents rushed from lunch break to school to find that they have to wait at the hall for speech from some vvip. The vvip was caught in the traffic jam (traffic blocked all the way down the hill past the primary school because of this). The whole thing was supposed to start at 2pm but he arrived at 230pm.

Parents were getting restless and looked like a riot would break out. Finally they broke out of the hall and rushed to the classrooms. By the time I returned to school at 225pm (after making sure that my son is safe at home before I take care of other people's children) there were long queues outside the classrooms.

For a hundred ringgit and such chaos it caused everybody. The admins were stressed because vvip was late. The traffic was screwed up and nobody was getting anywhere (I was smart enough to take another route return to school). Parents were angry and upset that they were subjected to listen to speeches before they can get the money. I heard some even left before without taking the money. Can't blame them....they need to work too.

Can this be done in a simpler way with less hassle? Of course.....forget about speeches and trying to impress us on how good the govt is to us. We know and can see this for ourselves. Actions speaks louder than words. Taking the money is just less than two minutes.....sign the paper to acknowledge that the money is taken. Say thank you and bye to the teacher on duty. Take the money and leave. 

When will we ever learn to work effectively and efficiently without wasting time? Infact we were instructed not to leave school till 430pm. But all my students' parents had come and gone except for six whose parents were not coming. What am I suppose to do.....sit and wait till 430 while my son walks a mile to his music class with the probability of kidnap, accident, chased by dogs etc?

I felt bad but I left at 345 to send him to his class at 4pm because I can't sit in school knowing that my own child is on the street walking while I am in school waiting for the clock to tick till 430. If there were still parents coming in....I wouldn't leave because at that moment I am still a teacher and my duty comes first. Then I will have to take the risk of letting him walk to class on his own.

Can some people up there see some sense and sensibility at work and help to make the work force more effective and productive? Sigh....crying to deaf ears.
RM100.....money talks??
Was waiting for this movie during the holiday but it didn't come till early January. Only MBO screened this movie. Think people in this town don't know how to appreciate a movie which is just singing the whole way. It was screened in the smallest hall in the cineplex...and it wasn't even half full.

A classic written by Victor Hugo. Read the book many years ago and sort of forgotten the names and characters. Knowing the story helps a lot in understanding the movie better. I was alert most of the time and reading the subtitles as the characters sang. Need to know what is happening all the time so can follow the story.

Needless to say....the songs were wonderful. Some are familiar like 'Castle in the cloud' .... the school choir sang this a few times for competition. My favourite is 'Do you hear the people sing?' Even as I type now, I'm following the whole musical on youtube and enjoying the songs.

Javert vs Jean vanJean. Javert a law keeper who is patriotic and follows the law to the dot....without compassion. Jean....a man who was imprisoned for stealing a loaf of bread. Though he suffered much, he found he still have love in him and he tries passing love, kindness and goodness around him.

It was touching....all of us shed tears at different parts of the movie. Interesting how a musical is put on silverscreen.




Today is the second day of school. Been pretty good in the sense that though there was much to do I was able to put myself in a positive frame of mind. Think every three months of work, we must be given a month holiday. Then we can return to work energised and recharged.

KC shared Ecclesiastes 9:10 in church on 30th December last year. Few things that he said reminded me on how I should live my life each day:
a. have a blast while it last
b. take hold of ordinary responsibility and make sure they get done
c. work with gusto
d. be joyful and thankful for things large and small
e. don't die till you are dead

With that in mind and spending much time in prayer as a family, we started our year off with a peaceful blast.

May the Lord bless everyone of us with a good year filled with satisfaction over the fruits of our hands.