Homelearning | Community Helpers

I work well with themes. And that applies to my homelearning curriculum. Then again, I don’t really have a curriculum. I facilitate the learning based on the children’s experiences and interests because I do think I’d have a doubly hard time getting information across to them when they have zero knowledge about it. I can introduce of course, but most of the time I see blank faces. However, there are times (not a lot) when they want to know more and that’s when I delve deeper into it.

I’ve been wanting to do the theme on community helpers during the June hols because that’s when we could head out and visit museums, fire stations, etc. Alas, the kids fell ill and such trips were not recommended so we have to wait till July to go through it.

We started off with this box of Educo’s Occupation Project which is available at Liliewoods Social at Katong I12. The kids had to categorise items related to the specific occupation. While it may seem easy to sort them, I find a lot of conversation can be generated as we went through individual item, hence the process took longer than expected. Of course, we need to supply them with the vocabulary for each picture.

We did visit the library to borrow books on the various occupations to complement the lesson. However, it would be really good if we could get hold of books set in the local context. But hey, there’s always the Internet!

In the near future, I would really like to get the girl to write short texts. Let me find the time to do so. 😅

Community Helpers’ 2-piece puzzles. I thought it would be fun to get the toddler to match these puzzles up. Dan did it half-heartedly, as if telling me that I was looking down on him with this task. Hah. I thought it would be good to source for pictures with, well, humans in uniforms for the different occupations. Awesome if it’s in local context. Anyone game to do that and share? 😬

Injecting a bit of fun into learning would be this set of memory matching game. The girl was all enthusiastic about it while the boy was still trying to figure out what we were doing. He’ll get there, one day.

Still on categorising is this Community Helpers Sort and Classify mats. Dan grouped the pictures associated with the occupation. Looks easy to us but it took a bit of effort for him to categorise them. Perhaps , what I should do is to start small, with two to three occupations and asked him to sort as opposed to having him to do all at one go. Again, the kids learnt the vocabulary words here. The girl could sort obviously but the challenge for her is to get her to know and spell all the words. Ok, ok. Maybe not all, but most (of the easier words). The delighted Faith got to use the Xyron sticker maker while the brother used good old glue because we all know the fate of the sticker maker if it landed in the hands of very young kiddos. 😭

His first completed mat. Goodness, it took quite long! I need to remind myself to be patient with him. He’s honing his motor skills after all! And just look the sister. I don’t know what prompted that expression?

That day, we were touching on the postman and I thought we should visit Singapore Post Centre at Paya Lebar. Anyway, I needed to post a parcel. It was a nice place and rather picture-worthy.

I didn’t ask them to pose so hmm, this is the best I could capture. 🙄

My friend suggested that ending the lesson with a field trip to KidZania would be nice, which I agree. Let’s wait till the boy is of the right age to visit then. 😉 Meanwhile, a visit to the fire station, Police Heritage Centre, etc is more feasible.

Just a note.

A few have asked which printer I used after I posted this on IG stories. I’m currently using Canon’s PIXMA TS9170 (on loan for review purposes). I truly love the vibrant colours on the print. It would be especially good for photos.

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Scaling new heights

Scaling new heights!

The girl was so excited as we approached Tampines Green Forest Park and immediately set off to climb up the ropes. I was quite sure she needed my help but nope, she was on her own.

It was pretty high, I must say, for a preschooler? In that instant, she showed me her courage. She’s no longer the little girl that I knew who would whined and needed much coaxing to attempt to climb such heights.

She was mighty pleased with herself and each time after she has climbed up, she would shout to her Papa and asked him to watch her. So indeed, the father impact phase has come.

…they are moving gradually from the embrace of mom to the shoulders of dad. The child should now spend even more time with the father. His role in this phase is to affirm the strong capacities of the child and to teach them basic life skills. These are also the years where the emotional security imparted by the mom, coupled with the security of the beneficial disciplining the father provides, becomes a strong fortress from which the child operates. (The World Needs A Father by Cassie Carstens)

We love the outdoors. How I wish we could have access to the mountains. How adventurous, how fun! For now, outdoor playground would do. ;p

While the girl was enjoying herself, the brother was cycling (on his balance bike) along the tracks. He soon got bored and asked to go to the smaller playground which is toddler-friendly.

Overall, this is a really nice park in the east. Hoping for more of such playgrounds!

Yuzu Madeleines amidst P1 registration

The Primary One registration has started and it inevitably caused stress to this mom. Within me, I was grappling with the fact that my girl will no longer be a preschooler in a few months’ time but was just a toddler a while back?

Then there is the constant battle between homeschooling her and having her attend formal school. Oh, the struggles!

So I was thrust into pensive mode yesterday and decided to do something that could lift my spirit, without fail – baking. I’ve stopped baking after the boy was born. Yes, I do still use the oven or the standmixer once in a while but that’s out of necessity; I’ve mouths to feed. The desire to bake for pleasure has been curbed because it’s just too much work having to look after two active young kids and bake, and having to do the washing up thereafter.

The other day, when we were shopping at Isetan Scotts, I found myself heading towards the supermarket and then, without my knowing, I was at the baking supplies section. Grabbed some baking petals and Yuzu peel and told myself I would bake.

So I did bake. Because baking is therapeutic to me. This time round, I roped in the girl to help and as she went through the different steps in baking the madeleines, I realised that her skills have improved. 她长大了。

And so, I’ve been a mom for six years and a SAHM for the same number of years. I guess things will change a bit as she goes into Primary School?

Meanwhile, we would be monitoring the number of vacancies left in the school we intend to send the girl to and pray that no matter which school she would be sent to, she would thrive and continue to love learning.

Kids, they grow up too fast

Last Friday of the June school hols. You mean the hols is going to be over soon? So fast? I don’t recall doing anything much with them! And before I know it, I would have to register the elder one in Primary School. It’s all happening too fast.

The kids had a playdate, thanks to a mom who organised it. The preschoolers must have missed each other too much for they were ecstatic as they met and hugged.

It was a gorgeous morning, and the weather was apt for a waterplay date. This little man had no peers to mingle with but was content with playing by himself. Phew!

Faith was kept busy the whole time with her friends. I wonder if her preschool friends will continue to meet after they graduated from the kindy?

I have made good friends with some of these mommies and it’s such a pity that we won’t be able to meet often once they enter Primary School. But such is life, isn’t it?

Taking every opportunity to capture memories. Many parents have told me to keep a record of their growing up years in motion pictures but I kept having them in still ones.

This boy is growing up too fast, too soon. He made me laugh a lot these days with the things he comments.

Oh, such happy moments. May you have lots of them even as you enter formal school.

Mustela’s limited edition packaging for their good o’ products. They are doing their part to protect the environment by creating awareness in the consumers in reducing and recycling waste and respect for biodiversity. Hence, the limited edition packaging. These are for normal skin type and come in 500ml bottles. The usual bottles come in 300ml.

Just nice for the kids to use during cleanup.

So much joy in their beaming faces. Why do kids grow up so fast?

Adventures with Gaston Luga’s Classy Mini Backpack

[Discount Code at the end of post]


Both kids are well! Hooray for adventures! No more having to be confined to the four walls. Let’s go!

Our Gaston Luga backpacks will be accompanying us for our adventures. This time round, we are blessed to have the Classy Mini to join us. Designed in Sweden, famed for that minimalist and classic look, the Classy Mini is the newest addition to the Gaston Luga family of backpacks. When they contacted me for this collaboration, my immediate thought would be ‘a backpack for the kiddo! Matchy matchy!’.

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We had a Classy for the previous collaboration and this is the size comparison. Measuring 20 x 30 x 7cm and at 350g, the Classy Mini gets you to pack the bare essentials as you head out.

 

The black Classy Mini comes with an exchangeable flap top with a colour (pink, burgundy or brown) of your choice. It’s retailing at S$199. I…chose pink, of course. The flap top is easy to change, just like how we zip up and down some of the jackets. 😁

 

 

The Classy Mini is made up of the same strong durable nylon as the other Gaston Luga backpacks. It has the same magnetic strap closure and is light weight. It’s water resistant and the shoulder straps are adjustable.

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So there is a larger inner pocket and two smaller inner pockets for some organisation of our stuff. This is really for the minimalist. After I put a water-bottle and wallet, I’m left with little space.

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I much prefer a bigger-sized backpack because I need to pack more stuff when I head out. So I conclude that it’s a good size for kiddos and those who prefer to bring the bare essentials. The Classy remains my top choice and it’s suitable for all sorts of occasions.

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It’s a good size for our girl, and it’s lightweight so she could bring out for our trips. The straps are adjustable to the length we want but because F is still a child, the shortest length is still too long for her so I have to punch a pair of holes to suit her.

I would have preferred to have the straps in leather, like the Classy. 😊

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On me, it would look like this…😌

“lynnlly15”

If you are thinking of getting any of the Gaston Luga backpacks, the good news is that it is always free shipping (DHL Express or Fedex) + 20% off as tax rebate (from non-EU country, that’s us) + 15% off on the remaining price after tax rebate if you quote ‘lynnlly15’ during checkout. That’s quite a good saving.

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I digress, but don’t you think this address tag look gorgeous?

I leave it to you to browse the website for more information. Happy shopping!

These two weeks

June hols is already running into its second week. How is everyone doing?

For the Queklings, it’s basically a lot of staying at home because… the kids contracted HFMD one after another! Can you imagine my disappointment? I have planned so many activities for the kids, lots of outdoor programmes and made appointment with fellow moms to hang out but in the end…

We had started our holiday adventures on Friday, after we met the kindy teachers for a short meeting. Headed to the National Museum and had such a wonderful time. I realised kids have the most fun when they are in the company of their good friends. Alas, our adventure was short-lived because Dan was found to have spots on his palms and feet the following day. Sent him to the GP and it’s the dreaded HFMD! Arghhhhh…

Thankfully, his condition was mild and there were no ulcers on his throat. The in-laws stepped up and helped to look after him while I tried to go out with the girl for our various activities.

Art class | Board Game Night | Baking blueberries muffins together | Attending birthday party | The usual homelearning activities

On one of those days, I brought Faith down to Mary Kay (SG) office, to see how a skincare class is conducted. I thought she would be bored but she kept herself entertained and even had some fun with one of the ladies, taking wefie!

So after a week of confining the boy at home, we thought we could head out soon after. Little did we realise that the girl was found to have spots on her palms and feet and ulcers in her mouth.

It’s depressing.

This mama here needs the outdoors a lot and would love to have more social interaction. On top of that, we are to go for our church camp soon and with her getting HFMD, we got a bit panicky.

And we prayed. Real hard. Prayed that Faith would recover soon and that the adults won’t get it.

So for the second week, it was really more staying at home. Bleh.

And by Day 5, Faith’s symptoms have gone, miraculously. We went outdoors, basking in nature’s vitamin D but the highlight had to be us delivering Mary Kay products to my friends who ordered this month’s promo.

 

Joyride + ice-cream = fun!

I think we should be good to go on our adventures soon. Please stay healthy, everyone!

[TOYTAG] Pattern Play: Bright Colours

We love games. I mean, who doesn’t? We particularly like board games and actively seek to look out for good ones. They really help to strengthen our bond as the family comes together and play. Now that the little boy is a bit older, he could join in the fun too!

Our usual haunt for board games and the like would be from amazon, Toys ‘r’ Us and Popular Bookstore. Then TOYTAG contacted us and we realised we have one more good option to choose from. The kind folks at TOYTAG invited us to choose one item from their wide repertoire of toys and games to review and in the end, we chose Pattern Play: Bright Colours.

I must admit it’s not easy to settle for one because there are just too many to choose from. So if you happen to go into the website and get lost, I can totally empathise because the same happened to me as well. I thought it’s best to go down to the physical site to ask for recommendation. 😀

This box of Pattern Play contains brightly-coloured blocks in varying shapes which is good for introducing maths concepts like sorting, matching, symmetry and fractions. I thought we could use the blocks to teach length and measurement to the toddler too.

There are 40 glossy pattern cards that are numbered in order of difficulty, ranging from beginning to expert. This proves difficult for the boy at this point in time but the girl enjoys it. As she progresses to the expert level which is the right level for her, we could see patience and confidence gained from the process.

I believe there are many ways to use the blocks for teaching and learning. One just need to be creative! I personally like the quality of the blocks and you could pack this game in a bag provided! Good for travel, just that it’s a tad heavy. : (

We did go down to the physical site, all ready to contribute to the economy. One of our friends has been posting a lot of interesting board games on his FB and it seems the family has a whale of a time playing with them. So we thought we could perhaps find some games to entertain ourselves, especially during the June hols.

So we did part with some cash in exchange for a few games. You might find yourself in the shop for quite a while since you want the salesperson to recommend you some.

Have fun!

Disclaimer: We were invited to review an item of our choice from TOYTAG. No other monetary compensation was involved. All opinions are mine.

Read + Art + Sensory Play

It was just a random plan. I saw the Rainbow Fish and the Big Blue Whale on the book shelf and determined in my heart to read to the boy. He would love it especially since he has read the Rainbow Fish before and loved it.

Then the idea of doing some painting came to mind. For a long while, the boy has asked me if he could paint. “No” was the answer because each time he asked, I was having coffee during breakfast. I really didn’t want to stop my coffee and tend to him. Selfish I know, but I really need a cup of coffee to start the engine. And each time after coffee, we would have to start the routine of getting the kids to wash up and get dressed before sending the boy to school. So nope, no painting for the boy for a long while.

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So yesterday, I decided that I couldn’t give excuses anymore and started to get him to do some work. He painted the whole paper blue and while waiting for the paint to dry up, we worked on the scales of the fish.

 

It’s a lot of fine motor skills, I realised, midway through the activity. He rolled and flattened the play dough (tickle your senses) and punched out the round shape before cutting the circle into half. So the concept of the shape and half was also taught through this informal activity. Oh yes, he also learnt that when you cut a circle into half, it becomes a semi-circle! ✌🏼✌🏼

There was a lot of concentration no doubt from the little boy and I was just enjoying the whole process (of watching him). He was careful with each stage of the work which is really surprising.

This is a very simple activity you can do with your toddler. Teach colours, shapes, fractions, etc! Let your creativity take over!

March & April in pics

[Be warned. It’s going to be a long post.]

And so April comes to an end and we are welcoming May. So much, so much have happened in the last two months but I just couldn’t find the time to update on this space. So this post is the summarised version of these two months.

The March hols was a memorable one. The family had a retreat (church) at our neighbouring country up north and personally, I was greatly ministered to by the Lord. There were a lot of pent-up emotions, frustration and bitterness in me and the Lord used the retreat to touch me with His love. The kids had a great time at the children’s programme and the adults could be thoroughly present, all thanks to the two wonderful sisters-in-Christ.

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I was restored, no doubt, and look forward to the months to come. I have even changed my perspective of how I look at da man’s service in church in that retreat. The Lord has dealt with me ever so gently and patiently and for that, I’m grateful.

Dan started Nursery school after the March hols. Was I nervous? Absolutely! After all, he has always been with me and has not attended any drop-off classes except for BSF and Sunday school. However, I believe the retreat did him good in the sense that he knows he would be in good hands even though Mama isn’t with him. So, on the first day of school, we saw a very happy Dan attending school and went into the classroom without any problem. It’s the mom who was feeling a bit upset that he just went in, without any hugs or kisses given to her. Bleh.

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On that first day of school, he went to lalaland really quickly. Woke up midway, walked out of the bedroom to the sofa and fell asleep in this way. No joke.

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Why send him to school, since I have mentioned before that I would homeschool him until he reaches 5YO? As much as I love to teach my kids, their presence also means much squabble, so much so that on some days, all I did was to be a referee and break up fights. Their constant quarrels contributed to my frustration as a mom and for the good of everyone, we decided to send him to school.

Because Dan is in school in the morning, that frees up time for me to spend quality time with the girl. I could revise her work and have a good chat with her without any interruption from the brother.

It’s not all work, of course. Some mornings, we chose to go out, like maximising our Friends of Gardens by the Bay card and going to the park to take in the much needed vitamin D!

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These days, besides dinner, I need to prepare lunch because the girl wanted to bring her lunchbox to school and well, Dan needs proper lunch now. He was so famished each time I went to pick him up from school!

However, time with the boy has been rather limited. He would nap after he came back home and would only wake up when we have to set off to pick the girl from school. So whatever time I have with him, I use it to read to him and have fun at the playground. Not much teaching, sad to say. ;(

These are after-school activities. Going home after school can be rather boring at times. How about a visit to the museum or outdoor play with schoolmates or playmates? By the way, Rolling @ Tag at The Artground is really fun for the kids. The Festival for Young Audiences will be held from 25 May to 3 June 2018. Please make time to go there! Your kids would love you for that.

Faith started a new art class after the March hols, together with her kindy friends. I do think she has interest in art since it’s one of the things she would do when she’s bored. I would really love to sign her up for some drama classes because she is forever in her play pretend mode when she’s left on her own. Then again, she said she’s shy (roll eyes pls).

She has made some slight progress with her ukelele class, thank God! Still, she has a long way to go.

I wish you could watch the whole video in which she sang to Leaving on a Jetplane. Her facial expression is just so funny!

These days, I’m trying to play more games with the kids. We always have fun playing say, board games with the kids. We only hope that we could have more energy to play with them. I was personally very inspired by a CG-mate who loves playing boardgames with his kids. Toytag has a good variety of games to choose from and I should really ask our CG-mate to recommend good ones.

On a personal level, I could finally attend a few Mary Kay workshops in April! I know it sounds crazy but I really couldn’t find the time to get out of the house! Mary Kay is something I enjoy doing because it gives me the opportunity to meet up with ladies, mostly moms and I enjoy the interaction with them. I don’t know how much time I could put in into this area in the following months but I certainly hope I can do more, learn more, interact more!It’s been an enriching experience thus far.

Hosted the mommies’ group recently and saw God at work in the lives of these wonderful ladies. Felt challenged to do more but I need to pray, first of all, and seek Him.

I’m ending this post with this personal achievement. I ran my first 10km in 2018, together with a few mommies! It was tough! I didn’t manage to run much in these four months and I had to run the 10km without much training. Nonetheless, I did it! The timing wasn’t anything fantastic but the company was great. I wanted to run a half marathon at the end of the year but judging by how things go, it would be tough because how could I find the time to train for it?

I would really love to record my homelearning resources and journey on this space so I think you can expect regular updates from May onwards. I used to update on Dayre (difficult to track previous posts) and then on another WP account until the space was all used up. I guess it would be best to record on this platform and on IG since these are the most stable among the ones I am using.

So, May, we welcome you!

April is here!

It’s time to share Mary Kay’s April promotion!

So you would have known by now, that I’ve been a user of Mary Kay products for a good five years and I was so convinced that the products worked on me that I decided to share more with others and hence posts such as this one will appear on this platform.

There is truly no greater joy than to share good things with others.

I love serum. I’ve used the TimeWise Repair Volu-Firm Lifting Serum, TimeWise Pore Minimiser, and more recently, TimeWise Replenishing Serum +C and Melacep Plus+ Ultimate Serum to brighten my somewhat dull face. I’m loving it!

To enable the serum to be absorbed better into the skin, I use the Golden Beauty Bar which is part of the promotional bundle for this month!

What is so special about this Golden Beauty Bar?

 Golden Beauty Bar T head is plated with 22 K gold
to provide your skin with luxury experience!
 Vibration intensity can be adjusted!
 Vibrates 6000 to 8000 times per minute to enhance absorption to 90% of skin care products!
 Restore skin elasticity!
 Stimulate skin radiance!
 Improve skin firmness !

You should add this to your repertoire of home facial tools!

Besides massaging on the face, you could also use this wonderful tool on any parts of your body (if you so wish).

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There are many videos available to show you how you can use this to massage your face. I like this one as it’s rather clear to me.

I thought this is a good set for anyone who are new to Mary Kay products. The TimeWise range is the one that I started off with five years ago and I absolutely love it. Now, the bundle will give you a free Golden Beauty Bar for you to enjoy so…grab!

Drop me a note at lynneelee101@gmail.com if you are interested to find out more. 😉 Promotion commences on 9 April!

[Review] Canon Rayo S1 Projector

 

A projector on your palm. How cool is that? With the advancement of technology, it shouldn’t surprise us that a projector can turn palm-sized. But I admit I was awed when I first saw it at the Canon Christmas Party last year.

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To give you a better idea, the following is the Rayo S1 Projector in Faith’ hands. It’s definitely not the big machine that we think of when a projector is mentioned. You can definitely put this in your handbag or even in a pocket! It’s light at 240g and offers 854 x 480 (WVGA) screen pixel resolution.

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So I asked for a loan for the Rayo S1 projector, to try out its capabilities. I thought it would be a good tool to have when we have meetings or gatherings and when the room doesn’t have a TV. Comes in useful especially when we need to project something on the screen.

When we have gatherings such as the above, when kids come together, the projector comes in really handy. We streamed movies via our mobile phone and project it on the wall. The quality of the sound was rather clear and crisp. Not bad for such a small machine. It’s quite powerful, I must say.

Besides a projector, one can also tap on the 4GB memory to preload music, videos and presentation on the device for maximum efficiency. It is designed with a smart touch pad to enable us to navigate through all the functions of the RAYO S1 all with a simple touch.

You can find out more about the specifications of the Rayo S1 projector here.

iROO x RDSS social responsibility campaign

You know, I can be quite a complain queen. Although I know I should give thanks in all circumstances, more often than not, I find myself grumbling, sometimes a lot, especially when the day was filled with endless household chores and …whines.

February was bad and while I know I should find every opportunity to bless others, I was gripped with self-pity. “Oh my poor SAHM life! I want to go back to work!”

It was not until folks at church shared about the many people who are not as fortunate as us and a turn up at the iROO X RDSS social responsibility campaign launch that I realised I am blessed, way too blessed.

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Meeting Sarah for the first time.

iROO, a leading Taiwanese fast fashion label that was established since 1999, announces its 5 years corporate social responsibility campaign supporting the Rare Disorders Society of Singapore (RDSS). In this video, we could get a glimpse of some of the rare disorders faced by patients.

The key objectives of this campaign are to raise public awareness on rare disorders and educating the public to be empathetic towards such patients and their family members. There will be a series of videos such as the above to share with the public and to further create more awareness, talks will be arranged with schools and companies.

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iROO has launched the limited edition ‘Know Me’ charity t-shirt for this campaign and all nett proceeds will be donated to RDSS. iROO hopes to raise up to S$10,000 for this campaign. Available in two colours – black and white – this t-shirt retails at S$68.80 at all iROO retail stores from 28 February till 15 April 2018.

Here’s me showing a little support and encouraging you to do likewise, if you are in any way moved to want to support.

The Hornbill is a key icon of this campaign. Hornbill belongs to a rare species that live with their single partner till their death and they stay together as a family. The families of RDSS are just like the Hornbill families, staying together and caring for one another.

Hook on Books

Today is one of those days that none of the adults have any commitments so it’s family time!

We finally made it here – Hooks on Books! I remember one Dayre mom recommended this place. The last time we were here, we didn’t check the opening hours and of all days, we chose the one when it’s closed. 😂

I ❤ this place! Didn’t know it’s opened by the founder of Berries. To be honest, the selection of the books isn’t a lot but I suspect they are specially selected based on the quality and interest of the kids. It’s a small place but somehow I feel at home. Could it be the interior design? Could it be the friendly staff or could it simply be because it’s the language that I grew up with which made me so comfortable?

The boy was fascinated with this phone. And I was thrilled to find Chinese audiobooks here. Of course #buybuybuy

The kids weren’t as interested as I was, much to my disappointment. They were all over the place until I was fed up and asked the hubs to bring them out to have some bites while I browsed the audiobooks and CDs.

See… hungry little people.

Stayed on to do some craft.

This boy was climbing up and down, up and down, and in the end, the tray of materials became sensory play to him. 😅

So happy to be able to dig into the various materials.

Finally got him to sit down and read some books. I think it’s because it’s Chinese book. He couldn’t sit for long.

Binding the notebook.

The food’s not bad lah.

Because we spent a fair bit on… audiobooks mainly, we got free cups of ice-cream, much to the delight of the kids.

See?

Till we meet again!

Since we are round the corner, we checked into our usual Japanese restaurant…

I’m actually here, mainly for the pork cheeks.

Watching the boats pass by before both crashed.

We had wanted to go swimming but the sky seemed overcast so we headed for Decathlon in the end.
The girl was protecting the boy because this area was very crowded. Awwwww…

I didn’t know decathlon at Chai Chee and the surrounding area are so happening! If you ever come to this place, do try the yong tau foo here. Recommended by Trisa, the foodie.

Good. I don’t normally drink the soup when I dine out. But this one is good. Can tell it’s good stuff.

The chicken wings babes…

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So tempted to do grocery but I’m so tired already…

February roundup

 

The shortest month. One of the busiest months. The month which I dread.

And it’s over.

Like many of you, February is the month I was busy with spring cleaning and getting ready for the Lunar New Year. Of course, with my capacity, I could only do so much. However, it was not so much of the chores that irritated me; it’s the daily squabbling of the kids that got to me. I had to be the referee every morning at least once and that is not fun!

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In the end, after much consideration and prayer, we decided to enrol the boy in Kindergarten. I had initially thought he wouldn’t need to be in kindy until when he’s of age for K1. I could teach him and he could spend time with the sister in the morning and learn together. Besides, I really loathe the thought of having to be on the road more with him in kindy.

But I also know I need to spend more time with Faith, guiding her on certain issues and we do need some quiet moments to discuss. With Dan around, it’s not quite possible. He…likes me and wanted me to be with him most of the time. Yea, I’m that popular. ;p Faith was also easily distracted when Dan was around so even if I gave her some task for her to complete independently, she would more often than not turned to both Dan and me, especially when we were reading books. Deep learning couldn’t really take place.

So yup, Dan would be in school in Term 2. Asked him if he wanted to go to school, he gave a different answer each time. Oh well.

 

 

Anyway, for homelearning, I am introducing letter of the week for Dan while the girl worked on some tasks which I have set for her. I wish I could play more games, work on more Science experiments with her… oh well.

 

The letter Hh sound

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This boy showed an increase in vocabulary and length of sentence in his speech. I think this period is the most adorable by how and what he speaks. Must treasure.

 

Some activities related to the Ii sound.

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And Jj

Some days could get a bit depressing to me. Chores are never-ending and whines too. These days, Dan wanted his way and it could get tiring having to discipline him. Towards the end of the month, I was just plain exhausted. I haven’t had time to rest. ME time in February was used to do spring cleaning and run errands and I turned bitter. The Lord knows me well enough and provided friends to come alongside me, to cheer me up with their presence.

 

CG fellowship day

 

Playdate with a fellow dayre mom and her kids. Please remind me to plan more outdoor play for the kids.

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On the last day of February, things turned out quite magically well for my soul. I turned up for a social responsibility campaign by iroo to support the Rare Disorders Society of Singapore. I won’t elaborate much in this post (will do another one dedicated to this) but the encounter with the families in that event greatly humbled me. My bitterness and complaining spirit was replaced by gratitude. How could I be so self-centred and blind to the needs around me?

That evening, I received an IG message from a reader who shared with me how she has overcome a trying period wrt her daughter’s health condition during her early years. I felt God touching my heart and reminding me how blessed I am.

That night, I was changed.

I view things from a different perspective now.

Thank you, February, for teaching me life lessons.

I’m looking forward to you, March.

 

 

 

CNY 2018

The Lunar New Year came too soon, as usual. I was barely getting into the hang of things and there we were, ushering in the Chinese New Year (CNY). I bought blocks of butter, intending to bake some goodies but in the end, I only managed to produce bread, for that is necessity.

Everything was a rush and there was little motivation to do more. I didn’t even plan any homelearning lessons regarding CNY. Years ago when Faith was younger, I was so enthusiastic about sharing with her about this festival but now, I’ll let the school handle for the mama could barely catch her breath.

In the end, we did do something, thanks to a Dayre mom who gave me some good ideas and craft supplies and Canon Singapore who sent me a box of goodies and craft for the kids to get busy with.

So we spent the first two days of CNY visiting relatives. It was tiring, with kids. Faith hasn’t been feeling well since the eve and she was feeling lethargic throughout. We had pockets of fun, since the relatives were all eager to play with the kids and that’s when the hubs and I could catch some minutes of rest.

Loving this set of pics with the kids so am putting them here for memories’ sake.

Going from houses to houses could be tiring for the kids. What’s there to do except to sample the CNY goodies and receiving hongbaos? So, we tried to sneak in some moments of fun for the kids.

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The third day of CNY and the family decided to take a break from visitation to spend some much-needed family time. Yup, just us. Zipped down to Marina Barrage to get the kids to fly the kites, only to find the wind too strong and our skills too weak. Oh well, at least we tried.

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No worries. We could always get the ball rolling.

I love the third day simply because we could spend uninterrupted time with the family and in the outdoors! Why is it difficult to do so on a normal weekend? Do we have too many commitments?

img_5830-1Anyway, from us to you. Have a great Lunar New Year!
2018 edition

[Review] Early Math Matters

The invitation to review Early Math Matters (EMM) came at a time when I was frustrated with teaching Math to Faith because she was none too interested in wanting to learn more and there was some resistance on her part with working on the tasks that I have set out for her.

If you have been following my IG or Dayre for a while, you would have known that I have been focusing more on language and the arts for home learning as compared to Math and Science. Admittedly, I was more excited to teach the former areas to the kids. However, I know that a solid foundation for Math would be helpful for the children so after much consideration, I decided to get Faith to attend the Step Up to Primary One (SUPO) at Early Math Matters once a week for a period of six weeks.

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Early Math Matters,  a sister company of Neuromath Academy, is a premier Mathematics and Cognitive development enrichment centre for preschool children aged 3 to 6 years old. They set out to help children build a strong foundation for problem solving at an early age through purposeful play, innovative lesson design and immersive learning, to name a few. They believe that by strengthening the child’s math fundamentals, they can instil a passion and love for math that will stay with them for life.

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I remember the first lesson very vividly and the transformation that resulted from that ONE session with regard to her attitude towards Math. Before the lesson started, Teacher Regina asked the girl if she liked Math.

“No, I don’t like.”

*face in palm*

I know she didn’t like this subject and I might well have contributed to that attitude of hers. I did try using manipulatives in teaching her since I know that children at this age need concrete objects to understand concepts better. However, I wasn’t so patient at times and more often than not, Math wasn’t presented to her in a fun way.

 

So I was truly surprised that she told me that she enjoyed the session and would love to go back again because “it’s fun!” When has Math become fun for her?

Throughout that week, she was eager to do the homework given by the teacher. I tried not to interfere, preferring to observe how she did the sums and how she derived at her answers. She did them with confidence. There were a few she didn’t get them right but after a little scaffolding, she could do them.

For the subsequent weeks, Faith maintained the same enthusiasm for this class. I was really curious. How did they do that? What did they do in there?

“Why do you like to go for this class?”

“It’s fun!”

“Why is it fun?”

“I get to play games!”

On the fourth lesson, I was allowed to sit in for a while to observe the lesson. Teacher Regina was really getting them to play…Math games and I could sense the enjoyment from the students. There was really good rapport between the teacher and the children too. No wonder Faith loves this class!

 

Of course, it’s not all play and no learning. In fact, Faith did learn, more than what I have taught her definitely and in greater depth. What is more beneficial is the fact that she is getting excited about Math!

There are a few things I like about SUPO. It is specially designed to prepare 6 year olds for primary school math and it covers a wide range of topics like number bonds, symmetry, substitution, part-whole models, multiplication and logic reasoning, to name a few. The lessons are engaging and interesting from the way the girl described to me and I like it that interactive manipulatives and games are used to create an immersive learning environment.

 

EMM has graciously shown me some of the materials they use in the lesson and have I mentioned that they also make use of VR technology to get the students to experience math concept? It’s the first in Singapore!

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While teaching materials and resources are helpful, I think what is more important is how the teacher uses them to bring across mathematical concepts in a way that young children could comprehend. I do think that pedagogy matters, a lot, and from our experience, Teacher Regina has done a good job.

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If you ask me what is the greatest benefit the girl has derived from the class, I would tell you that her interest in Math has returned. I observe that she is thinking MORE now when it comes to her Math work as compared to just inserting numbers into a number statement (for example) previously. She doesn’t get every question correct and would still need clarification now and then but the frustration level from her has dipped for sure.

When I first agreed to do the review, I had one main objective. I do not need her to know how to solve every problem or to be a Math whiz just because she attends this class. Nope. What I want to see is a change in her attitude towards Math, that she will develop a love for learning or Math in this case and to have a curious mind for solving problems and not just give up so easily and surrender, “I don’t know how to do this!”

Oops. Okay. This is more than one objective. But you get the idea?

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I’m happy with how Faith has progressed throughout these six weeks of lessons. I find that she is more confident when it comes to Math. As a parent, I am reminded to make learning fun and meaningful for the kids and not subscribe to rote-learning. There is a place for drill and practice but I believe understanding of concepts holds greater value.

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I don’t advocate going for enrichment classes unless the child needs it. If I have to get my kids to attend any enrichment classes, I would make sure that the teachers know what they are doing and they do what the school/ enrichment centre has set out to do in the first place.

Go on down and have a chat with the friendly staff at Early Math Matters and find out more about SUPO or the other classes that they offer or what their beliefs are when it comes to teaching the young ones about Math. You can call them at +65 6384 0797 or +65 9770 3263 or enquire at ask@earlymathmatters.com.

Early Math Matters is located at MODA, 42 East Coast Road, #01-02, Singapore 428762.

Code (Lynn)

Oh, before I forget! EMM is offering my dear readers a $30 off per month for their ‘Step Up to Primary One’ or ‘Math Intelligence’ programme. Every little savings help. Terms and conditions apply.

Do contact them if you are interested?

9 Feb 2018

This is the day that many of us who have been using Dayre as a form of recording our lives, were affected by a piece of sad news. Dayre is shutting down.

I have been using this app since 2014 to record the many mundane activities in my daily life to inform the hubs (most of all) because I don’t want him to miss out on what’s happening at home when he’s at work. It’s also a good way for me to record what I do with the children daily so that I could refer to the home learning activities should I need more ideas.

Then when Dan came along, there were many instances when I felt so frustrated in taking care of the two kids that Dayre is the only place where I could rant safely, away from the judgements of people. Slowly, more readers came to know of my microblog and they become the community that brought me through many down moments. And from this community, I made many online mummy friends and we encouraged one another in this journey.

I blog less on this platform (WordPress) as a result because Dayre is a much easier one to pen my thoughts.

Sadly, this app has to be shut down. I’m not sure if I could have the time to do a backup of the years of posts but then again, is there a need to?

What I’m most regretful is the fact that I didn’t record much of Dan’s development on WordPress.

So today, I explored using another app for microblogging – weblogit- and realised it may not meet my needs.

I guess I should return to this site, the one who has stayed with me throughout my 20s and 30s. I think I can trust WordPress enough.

There may probably be a shift in my writing style but ultimately, I just want to record memories, like I’ve always wanted to do so from the very beginning.

So here’s me, back to blogging again.

Weekends

July 2016

Her first swim class.

Fast forward 1.5 years later, she could swim a short distance. It’s a milestone.

The boy? Getting him to be confident in the water and so far, he has enjoyed himself.

My happy pill.

How’s your day?

And… we are approaching the end of the first month of 2018. How has everybody been?

My life has been filled with too many activities (mostly with the kids). Sometimes even with the schedule down on the diary, I would still miss or mix up an appointment or two. My brain no longer functions as well as before. Oh well, age is catching up.

Time to load up on some nutrients, both for the body and well, the face. Have you heard of Mary Kay’s relaunch of the TimeWise® Replenishing Serum+C® ?

It’s one of my favourite from Mary Kay and I use it daily to help lift my skin’s radiance with a boost of Vitamin C from it.

Let me know if you want to know more about this wonderful product or just visit the site to understand more. I really ought to pen down my Mary Kay journey here. Let me find the time to do so. 😅

New year, new goals

So it’s not exactly a brand new year now. It’s been twelve days but I’ve been so awfully busy that I couldn’t find time to pen any words on these platform. It’s going to be an exciting year with a lot of challenges no doubt. The hubs has a change of work arrangement while the girl has one or two more enrichment classes (she requested for it) to go for this year. Our lives are a tad busier. Changes like these are inevitable and we could only accept them.

PRESENCE

But I have to mention the night before the new year. We attended the watchnight service in our church and as we immersed ourselves in worshipping the Almighty, I felt the Lord speaking to me, “Bask in My presence.” And for the first time in my life, I praised Him in a tongue I know naught of. It was beautiful, that moment. It’s just, my Lord and I. Indeed, “better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere” (Psalm 84: 10a).

So I seek to dwell in His presence daily for 2018. Take a few minutes off each morning, gather my chicks and talk to Him. We started on a new book for our family devotion this year and as we take time to ponder about what we have read and share our thoughts, I’m just amazed at how deep the discussion could be, even with a five-year-old. Our prayers got deeper and we understand one another better through that. Be present, don’t rush through things. 

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Run a half marathon

A few days before December ended, a few mommy friends and I came together to meet up after our Ekiden race during the Standard Chartered Marathon run. We talked about the possibility of running a half marathon. Okay, I might not be able to run like before but the thought of completing a half marathon excites me. I like the discipline that comes with the training for a run, believe it or not. But more importantly, I want to be a role model for my kids. Healthy lifestyle yo!

I have other goals as well and obviously I don’t make them to break them. So, here’s a small list.

:: Prepare meals for four days. Ok, this is something you may not know. I’ve been toying with the idea of catering Tingkat for the past few months because come 5pm, preparing dinner could be truly stressful for me. The kids were cranky and disturbing each other to the point that I had to stop cooking every other minute to settle the dispute. The joy to cook has turned into a chore and thus I started to look for alternatives to cooking. But in the end, I decided that I should learn to deal with it and prepare meals in advance. Oh yes, time to learn to cook more dishes. Kids are tired of the same old ones.

:: Mary Kay. I don’t have specific goals for this CCA of mine (yet) but I do enjoy meeting people because of this opportunity. It gives me the confidence that I need at this point in time to talk and discuss things in a coherent and professional manner. Oh yes, I seem to have lost that ability due to my current status (SAHM). Not joking, by the way. More specific goals would come as time passes, I guess, when I have a clearer picture of what I want to do. For now, it serves as a great ME time and a chance for me to self-improve.

In case you are expecting a long list, I have to disappoint you. At this current capacity, I could only set and work on these few goals. There will still be lots of homelearning (I record this on Dayre) for sure but for now, the above list is enough to keep me occupied.

That’s all for now!

Travel in style with Gaston Luga backpack

[Sponsored review]

If you are like me who go places with the kids a lot, I believe you would appreciate a roomy and stylish bag like the Gaston Luga backpack. Their backpacks come in three sizes – Classic, Praper and Classy.

 

So I am on the shorter side and know that a big backpack would look weird on me. The Praper and Classy would be fine on me. And, oh, can you resist the Praper in white? It’s a classic!

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So this sturdy bag has been a great companion for our outing with the kids, especially during the recent Nov/Dec school holidays. We could put more stuff in it and yet it didn’t look like a turtle shell in the end. 😉 I even went to do grocery with it and certainly felt that I shopped in style. An auntie like me could also look stylish!

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You would have already known that the Gaston Luga backpacks are of good quality in terms of their workmanship. Take a closer look!

I have absolutely no doubt that the backpack could last, having used a previous one before. My only worry for this backpack? That it’s white and dirt could be rather obvious on it. But no worries, the dirt could be cleaned with soap and warm water.

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The Gaston Luga backpack makes me look less of an auntie. Even though I was ‘fighting’ with the boy over the basket, I could still look stylish with it. This, is the power of a well structured, trendy bag.

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With this backpack, one could really pack a lot in it. Yup, lunchboxes, water-bottles, wet wipes, wallet, etc, etc. All the things that a mom need to bring along when she’s out with two young kids. Thankfully, the bag won’t bulge and make me look like ninja turtle.

“Lynnlly15”

The price of a Gaston Luga backpack is rather decent if you consider the free shipping + 20% off as tax rebate (from non-EU country) + 15% off with the above code on the remaining price after tax rebate.

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The Praper would work out to be this price after the discount and you could also enjoy a free leather address tag (in black or brown) worth $69, while stocks last. Last I checked, it’s still available.

Start this new year (not exactly new) in style with a Gaston Luga backpack! Do check out their website www.gastonluga.com for the various designs!

*The above discount code is applicable for all Gaston Luga backpacks.

A review of 2017

Before we usher in the new year, I thought I should pen down some of the highlights of 2017.

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This is my IG’s #2017bestnine and I think it truly reflects some of the best moments for this year. One of the most memorable and one which I’m immensely grateful for is the salvation and baptism of my father. There is no greater joy than to see your loved ones and friends accepting Jesus as their personal Lord and Saviour. I recalled very clearly how I was prompted to ask if he wanted to receive Jesus into his life as he rested on the ICU bed. He told me just moments before that, “I told God to save me because it’s so painful.” And I knew that I had to ask him that life-changing question. He’d never wanted to accept Jesus because he needed to perform his duty to pay respect to his deceased parents and well, he was very much rooted in his belief all those years. At the end of it, God must have worked in his heart. At his baptism, his testimony was read and I’m certain he’s assured of his salvation. It’s all by His grace, not by works so that no one could boast.

We had two family trips and I had one all-girls’ trip this year. I’m thankful that the trips were wonderful ones and that none of us fell sick during the holidays. I love the Perth (WA) trip because it was with the in-laws and that means help with the children! Haha… but I truly love the self-drive trip.

My eventual goal is to travel in a caravan and rough it out (when the kids are older). Couple trip? I don’t see that possibility until the kids are much bigger since help is not available.

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I managed to do a few runs this year and I think I’m slowly going back to what I love to do – running. I run at a slower pace now for sure but that doesn’t matter. I’m trying to regain what I’ve missed over the past few years. I hope to be more serious and consistent next year. We ended the year with F doing the kids’ dash and me participating in the SCSM’s ekiden category.  She’s definitely in the mood to run more now. 😉

This year, handling both kids has been better than 2016. The hubs and I regained our beauty sleep (sorta); at least I didn’t have to wake up every half an hour at night. We have had problems of course – tantrums, disobedience, stubbornness, etc – but we have to continue to work with them through their growing up years. Being a parent makes me a better person because through the process, I understand myself better, a very selfish person, and I learn to trust Him more and it’s truly by His grace that I survive EVERY SINGLE DAY. It’s a lot of heartache in parenting but well, I’m reminded that I’m a WIP still, till I’m at my deathbed.

 

I’m slowly availing myself to serve. Since I’ve had kids, I dared not serve in church or in any capacity because I’m fearful of commitments and I’m not sure if I can handle anything more (especially serious stuff). There is a stage when I served till I encountered burnout and it had affected my fellowship with the Lord. I’m careful this time round, to hear from Him and to make sure I depend on Him rather than on my own strength. I’ve started to serve in the Chinese Sunday school, and to allow Him to work through me because teaching in Chinese is not my forte AT ALL! But again, if I’m using my own strength, then it’s all about me and not about Him. I’d let Him shine through my service.

 

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Towards the end of the year, I decided to embark on the business side of Mary Kay. I had run out of my skincare products and needed to purchase more. However, my account has ceased because of inactivity for some time and this time round, my friend/mentor/consultant, sensing my readiness, asked me if I wanted to know more of the business opportunity which I took up eventually. I’ve said again that after using the products for more than four years, I’m convinced of its effectiveness. I took some time to understand the business side of it and think I like the company’s or founder’s motto and I have seen this philosophy at work when I went for meetings.

img_1611There are people who shun direct selling or MLM but I’m fine as long as the products are good and I’m definitely okay with the company paying the consultants for their work rather than spending millions on a supermodel for advertising, marketing, rental fee and middlemen, whatever whatever. Obviously, I don’t have the correct terms (haha). I’ve seen many women being empowered through MK and it has truly lived out its belief – enriching women’s lives.

I do think it’s tough if you want to work and take care of the kids at the same time (I’m referring to a stay-at-home-working-mom). It’s a struggle. You basically can’t work as long as the kids’ eyes are open. I can’t bake (I had to turn down requests) and attending events (for blogging) is also difficult. I gave up baking for others completely this year and limit my blogging activities because I just can’t do much anymore. There is a high opportunity cost when I do the said activities.

At the end of the day, I want to be with my kids during the growing up phase. Anything that takes too much time away from them is a no-no. So MK works because it’s flexible and allows me to meet up with fellow moms (ME time!) and to help them find a product to address their skincare problems . I don’t want to earn lots but yet I need to continue to hone my skills and hopefully I can enrich my life and women’s lives.

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The year end holidays proved to be an eventful one. We had multiple playdates and outings and the children were kept busy and happy all the time. I’m thankful to have met a few moms online and their company was so precious to me. It’s truly a blessing to have found like-minded moms whom you could share deep thoughts with.

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During this period, we could do more sports with the children and because of that, Faith could finally swim (after 1.5 years of lessons) unassisted. By that I mean she could swim across the breadth of the pool on her own. She’s still learning to swim with the correct stroke but it’s heartening to see that she could swim now.

The girl has been practising more on her balance bike during the hols and when I saw that she could balance well, I suggested that we fit the pedals. The next day, she could ride the bicycle effortlessly! Now, I understand how a balance bike works in training the kid to ride a bike! I guess we really ought to be intentional about carving time for the little ones to practise their gross motor skills!

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As the year draws to a close and as we celebrate Christmas, I couldn’t help but thank the Lord for His presence in my life. He is the best and most perfect gift and He is all that we need.

有一件礼物,你收到没有,
眼睛看不到,你心会知道,
这一件礼物,心门外等候,
是为了你准备,别人不能收。

生命有限,时光也会走,
如果你不珍惜,机会难留,
礼物虽然好,如果你不要,
你怎么能够得到,
怎么能得到?

亲爱的朋友,你是否想到,
马槽的婴孩,是为你而来,
亲爱的朋友,你是否了解,
最好的礼物是人子主耶稣。

He is the reason for this season.
“Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!”
2 Corinthians 9:15

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Playdate | Tickle Your Senses x Stickiemail

A few more days to Christmas and two more weeks before we march into 2018. How time flies! Why does this school hols seem so short? I guess it’s because our days are full, as in our schedule is really packed and I hardly have time to take a breather. I struggle to record our experiences because there isn’t enough time and I have to prioritise so…

However, one of the most memorable activities that we had during this hols would be the playdate that we attended in late November. It was organised by a few parents in F’s school but sadly I didn’t know them in person since our girl is in a different level that their children. I got wind of it nonetheless and thick-skinnedly asked if I might join because I realised that Tickle Your Senses and Stickiemail would be conducting the session. You see, I could never join in their sessions due to the timing so this time round, I had to make sure we could participate and we did! Yay!

This playdate was conducted in one of the parents’ home and there were more than 10 kids for that session. Awesomeness! It was very well-organised, I must say.

When we reached the house, the kids started to make their nametags with the sticker maker. Such a wonderful idea! The kids were immediately kept engaged!

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The session soon started after all the kids arrived. CC from Tickle Your Senses gave a very lively storytelling of ‘The Smartest Giant in Town’ and captivated the kids with her animated reading.

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All ears

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Soon after that, it’s time for the kids to ‘work’! They would have to design the wardrobe of the Giant using the sticker maker. See the engagement level of the kids.

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Even our 2YO wasn’t spared and he did his task diligently. 😉

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It’s playdough time! Seems like the children were well-trained with using the dough! I love this sight.

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Her creation

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The kids were treated to lunch and then waterplay. Ahhh… kids these days are so fortunate. I don’t recall mine being so fun. ;p

Can we have more of such playdates?

Canon Christmas Party 2017

It’s that time of the year again. My favourite month – a time for reflection, a time for gathering and a time for giving. Christmas. Year-end parties aplenty and one of those which I look forward to is the Canon Christmas Party.

I mean, we have pictures, memories, wonderful bonding time with family and friends and a preview of cool gadgets. So, why not?

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It was always great, meeting fellow mom bloggers and to have a short catch-up session. Everyone’s busy and such an event helped us to connect with one another again.

With this bare tree, would you take some time and creativity to design it, to make it uniquely yours?

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Faith and I spent some time working on the design. Less is more. Above all, we wanted to enjoy working together. It’s bonding time, after all. 😉 The men (aka the hubs and Dan) weren’t around because our little man napped on the way to the destination. Sigh!

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Lovely treat from the generous folks at Canon Singapore.

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We were also introduced to some of the new and cool products offered by Canon. One of them stood out…

Look at this palm-sized projector? Has it stolen your heart yet? The hubs and I went “wow” over it and we were discussing what we could do with this toy. Lots, I say! Maybe I should do a review on this? Hmm…

Apparently, we weren’t the only ones fascinated by this machine. The girl was, too…

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The photo booth, where fun and memories co-exist.

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Where memories are printed…

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The excitement when we tried our hands on the products and the glow on our faces when we saw pictures being printed. 🙂

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Thank you, Canon Singapore, for giving us a memorable time in that few short hours. We appreciate the thoughts put into this event.

Blessed Christmas!

Canon
Delighting You Always

playFULL

We are in the midst of decluttering because if we continue to ignore the state that we are currently living in, it would be a matter of time before our home becomes a warehouse. #nojoke

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Recently, we were asked to try out playFULL, a toy rental subscription service for children aged 6 months to 6 years old. playFULL seeks to bring educational toys to the families to make learning fun for the kids. I’m not obligated to blog about this but we have benefitted from it and I thought I should share.

All we need to do is to sign up and receive 3 credits each month. We can use these 3 credits to rent up to 3 educational toys of choice from their extensive collection. Along with each of these toys comes an information sheet written by them to provide fun learning ideas targeting a range of important developmental skills such as fine motor skills, thinking skills, creativity, language skills, pretend play skills, concepts, gross motor skills etc.

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Browsing through the range of toys that they offer, I’m happy that they have what I think the kids would love to play with. This is the clear view marble run which gave the kids many hours of fun and play and provided yours truly a break from them. My only headache? I had to make sure they don’t lose anything in the midst of their enthusiasm. I mean, after all, the toys are not ours to keep; we have to return in a month’s time.

I was teaching the kids about magnets and I thought toys such as the above would be a good extension of my lesson. However, they were none too excited about it. They did play but didn’t ask to go back to it after that. Many times, we thought the kids would love to play with certain toys which we deem would be attractive and helpful to them but upon purchase, we realised that it was not so. It could be turn out to be a waste of financial resources in this sense, isn’t it? I mean, of course I could always give the toy away or sell it off (and the same time, having to bear with the usual ‘can lower your price’ question).

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This magnetic marble run is a hit with my kids too and I’m thankful to have chosen this as part of the subscription box. There’s actually much to teach and learn about if we take time to play and explore with them.

So, this toy gave me some time off to relax and take some decent pictures of them working together to solve problems. 😉

My review about playFULL? I do really love the idea of a toy rental subscription service and appreciate the range of toys they provide. I especially like the range from 5-6YO and hopefully they would continue to add to their collection. The box of toys was delivered to us and the courier came to pick up the box when it was time for us to return them. It is hassle-free in this respect.

Just so you know, playFULL is giving raisingfaith’s readers a 10% discount if you intend to try them out. Why not? The toys would surely come in useful if you want to engage your kids during this holidays.

Just key in “raisingfaith10” as the code when you check out.  Have fun playing and learning with your kiddos!

Faith is five

The girl turned five a few days back but the mom was too busy to record on this space.

Just two weeks ago, the girl performed at her school concert and it made me tear a little. A few years back, she was this chubby baby in my arms and now she is this young lady with a unique character and having a mind of her own, no doubt. Where have all these years gone?

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She has always been a sensible girl. I would always recall during the first trimester period when I was carrying Dan in my womb and having pangs of morning sickness, she would run to me and asked,”Mama, are you all right?” Now that Dan is older, she would help me take care of the brother and when I was frustrated with him, she would pull him aside and entertain him, thus giving me some space to breathe.

Concert Day

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This year, she requested that her papa attend her birthday celebration in school and asked for a PJ Masks cake. I must be mad to bake this cake for her. Baking with Dan around is no joke. It gave me much stress but in any case, I survived. 2 batches of sponge cakes, 1 batch of IMBC and 1 batch of chiffon cake in various colours for the exterior design and the cake was born. Thank you, Lord.

Before I know it, she would be in K2 and then commence her Primary School life soon. I’m…not looking forward to that day.

A little update about this SAHM

What have I been up to lately?

Since my last post on changes that happened on the home front, I have been involving myself with new mothers and hoping that with my limited experience as a stay-at-home-mom, I could at least help others. It’s been a joy thus far. Being a first-year mom is tough. There are so many things to learn, to handle and the learning curve is really steep. Hearing them out and helping them with similar kind of issues made me think back to the time when I  was a new mom myself. Oh, the struggles! So real. But that phase will soon be over ya?

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Besides this, I have also decided to devote some of my ME time with Mary Kay (MK) whose skincare products I have used since 2013 and have much confidence in. I was introduced to Mary Kay when I won an online contest to attend a beauty workshop organised by a mom blogger who is a MK consultant. I was extremely happy when I won the contest because I could go out and meet fellow moms! It was a really great feeling because I have been staying at home for six months since giving birth to Faith and not meeting up with many people (my friends were all working). Can you understand that yearning to meet adults other than your husband and child?

I enjoyed the workshop very much. There was so much laughter and learning and because the consultant (who is now my mentor) is a mom herself, the things she shared struck a chord with me. Of course, I saw how the products worked just through that one workshop and came out feeling really good about myself. My spirit was lifted and after that I contacted her to try more of MK’s products.

I have been using MK products for four years now and am convinced that they work for me and now I would love to share them with others too.

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Upon coming back from the recent Taiwan trip, I went for a training that helped me understand the MK opportunity more. That aside, I think I’m happier meeting up with people and to ascertain if the MK products meet their needs, and not forgetting the workshops that I could attend. They are so fun and enriching. I like it that I step out of the workshops each time with a thankful heart and all ready to get back to my mommy duties. I’m all refreshed. Don’t believe? Try to attend one workshop and you will understand why.

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Thus far, I have had the opportunity to meet up with some fellow moms who are ready to try the MK skincare products. As SAHMs (especially), the tendency is that we would neglect taking care of ourselves but I believe we should make ourselves the priority because if our heart is right (with God) and full, we could give back to the family. Sometimes, it can start simply with feeling good about ourselves, that we look great and refreshed as we gaze into the mirror.

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This is me sharing with a fellow SAHM about the TimeWise range that I have used all these years. It doesn’t take long and at times, I bring my kids along because I want them to see me ‘at work’. Anyway, they could gain access to the toys in the house that I visit. Good for them!

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This is the TimeWise range and is the skincare promotion for this month (November). For the same price for the TimeWise Miracle Set, you could also get the Moisture Renewing Softener and the pouch as shown in the picture above.

So yup, I’m a Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultant now and if you want to have a chat with me about the awesome products, workshops and opportunity, you could reach me at lynneelee101@gmail.com.

It’s really about enriching women’s lives. You’ll see.

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Oh yes, I have also started on #bbg since getting out of the house for a workout can be quite tough at times. Working out at home is the way to go for now. It has almost become a routine. Yay! And if you see the two MK bottles – TimeWise Body Smooth-Action Cellulite Gel Cream and TimeWise Body Targeted-Action Toning Lotion? They are to complement my workout and I have been using them since I gave birth to Dan. Good stuff!

😉

Weekend trip to BKK

It’s the end of October and it would be another two more months before we enter 2018! Life has been so busy that it’s getting hard to keep track. Busy with what, you might ask. Busy with the kids and being in the fellowship with fellow SAHMs!

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So the highlight of October, besides celebrating the birthday of Daniel and thus another milestone, is the weekend trip to Bangkok with girlfriends! Yay! This is my first trip away from the kids and I was filled with mixed feelings, no doubt. The guilt of leaving them behind and yet at the same time, rejoicing over the fact that I could have a few days of no “mama, mama” ringing in my ears. In the end, I’m glad I went for it and thankful for the hubs who held the fort at home. It was so fun and relaxing and the 3D 2N were filled with wonderful, uplifting stories shared by the girls on how God has worked in their lives. Truly encouraging! We didn’t have to plan much because one of the ladies, S, did everything for us, from the booking of flight and hotel to planning the itinerary. Awesome!

Not a moment was wasted upon arrival and checking in to our hotel. We went straight for lunch at the recommended Baan Peung Chom before heading for dessert at After You cafe and then shopping at EmQuartier.

We had dinner at Ping’s and then a spa session at Siladon Spa, a recommended place as well.

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Our stay for the two nights was at Hua Chang Heritage Hotel which was really comfortable and accessible to the trains and malls. I’m missing the hotel already as I type.

Day 2 was basically spent at the famous Chatuchak (Zone 2) before we proceeded to Or Tor Kor Market for lunch and buying of fruits and dried goods. Hmm, when you go on a trip with mothers, tendency is that we would look for food to buy back home to cook or store in the pantry.

And then it’s more shopping for the rest of the trip. If you are a frequent visitor to BKK, you would know where to shop, won’t you? Siam Paragon, Central World, Big C, Siam Square, Platinum Mall, etc.

Thankful for this trip (have recorded the trip on Dayre). I was refreshed in the spirit though I think I need more sleep after that. Hah…

Dan is 2YO!

Dear Daniel
You are two! How does it feel to be a slightly big boy now? You have been a joy to us all despite the many headaches you gave us too. Hah. Mama admits that it hasn’t been all fun parenting both you and Jie Jie and many times, I feel inadequate. I’m still learning, I guess, as much as you are trying to understand the world that you are living in and how relationships work.

Nevertheless, I must say you still melt my heart at the end of each day. You are God’s creation, wonderfully and fearfully made, and you are a precious gift to us. Life is indeed fuller and noisier with you around. Your sister adores you even though you bullies her a lot! She gives in to you and will always encourage you when Mama is angry with you for doing something wrong. How blessed you are!

You are an early riser and never fails to wake me up at 5ish in the morning but I’m afraid Mama isn’t too fond of waking up so early. So please pardon me if I may look cross and I would definitely need a cup of coffee to jolt me out of my sleepy state.

I love 2YOs. And I hope you will continue to explore and learn to articulate your thoughts more. You have been imitating your sister a lot, in terms of her speech especially and now you could give complete sentences when you feel up to it. More please! It’s really encouraging to see you develop through the months and I’m thankful that I can be around to witness these changes.

I love you, son, for who you are. You will always be your mummy’s precious boy.

Love
Mama

My Little Climbing Room

:: Review | Media invite

Over the weekend, the family was invited to My Little Climbing Room for 90 minutes of fun and exercise. It’s the first indoor climbing playground in Singapore that is catered for children and we accepted the invitation readily because we know the girl would love to give it a shot at climbing.

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My Little Climbing Room is a rather small space and upon reaching, I was rather skeptical as to whether we could really enjoy climbing given the limited space. For this reason, it is highly encouraged that you make bookings for the slots as there is a capacity limit of 15 persons per session to avoid overcrowding. This is for safety reasons too.

You know what? My skepticism was really unnecessary because the girl was so busy climbing that even after the 90-minute session was over, she still wanted to continue climbing.

I’m not exaggerating.

We have gotten the girl to try rock wall climbing before (those really high walls) and though she really wanted to climb, she whined within 30 minutes of her attempt. It’s too tough for her! So I was pleasantly surprised that she could continue climbing and climbing at My Little Climbing Room and I think I know why.

:: Shorter walls, closer holds. 

You would notice that the walls in My Little Climbing Room are shorter (4 metres) and thus this makes reaching the top more achievable for children like Faith. So, our girl took some time to warm up and for the first few attempts, she couldn’t reach the top and asked to come down halfway through. Once she got the hang of it, she asked to go back to the same wall to try and when she could reach the top, you could just imagine her joy and it’s really a boost to her confidence. She has overcome her fear too! No more whining!

That’s when she continued with the other more challenging walls. I really appreciate that every part of My Little Climbing Room is designed with the kids in mind, including all the safety aspects.

:: Fun & Challenges 

Apart from the 4m high walls, there are other walls that are incorporated with technology to make climbing a little more fun and challenging.

This is the Number Wall, a favourite among the younger kids. The general concept is that the kid spin for a random number and climb up to tap on the corresponding number that is on the wall. Fun, no?

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This is the AR Wall which is like an exhilarating and addictive game. It’s acts like a video game that forces you to move. See the white dots on the photo, those are projected images (Augmented Reality). When the kids climb up the wall to touch them, it will be highlighted and he total time taken to tap all the dots will be recorded. I admit I was addicted to this!

To encourage kids to climb more, there is a mission card for every child with their name written on it. And when they complete all the mission (climb the wall), they will get a mystery prize. I know kids like such challenges!

Each slot is a 90-minute session and each session starts with 30 minutes of free play, then 30 minutes of group games, followed by another 30 minutes of free play. Here, the children took part in the group game which was really exciting for the adults to watch. Oh yes, the adults get to rest during this 30 minutes. 😉

You might be wondering what the younger brother did while the sister was climbing. Wouldn’t he be too young to climb? No worries, he was adequately engaged!

To be honest, I just let him explore while thinking he couldn’t really climb. But the instructor brought him aside and guided him and before I knew it, he was climbing with the instructor’s assistance. So yup, feel free to approach the instructors if you need help in encouraging the the kids to climb. Don’t be shy!

There are Wheelie and Hangout Zones for the children if they want to take a break from climbing the walls.

I think I have only shared a little of our experience at My Little Climbing Room but I’ll leave you to find out more. Faith didn’t want to depart from that place at the end of the session and she made me promise that we would go back again.

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JUST SO YOU KNOW…

My Little Climbing Room is having its Grand Opening on 30 September 2017. During their grand opening weekend (30/9 & 1/10), their admission pass is discounted from their usual rate of $22 to $15. On top of that, they also have (1) Free Popcorn, Candy Floss for everyone and (2) Speed competition for kids to win special prizes.

Do make full use of this opportunity to visit them this weekend!

And.. although the space is built for kids, the whole facility is rated safe even for adults that are much heavier. Yay! That means we can climb too instead of just watching the kids do so. It’s truly a time for the family to come together and exercise!

GIVEAWAY ALERT

Here’s a chance for you, dear readers, to win 2 passes (worth $44) each which admits 2 children and 2 adults. We have TWO sets to give away!

Here’s what you need to do:
1. Show a little support and LIKE My Little Climbing Room FB page.

2. LIKE and SHARE this post on RaisingFaith FB page.

3. Tag as many friends as you like whom you think would love this place (one comment per friend please!)

Giveaway will end on 2 October 2017, 2400 hours.

Terms and conditions:

:: Passes must be used on the same time slot.
:: Passes are valid till 31 December 2017.

This giveaway is a collaboration between My Little Climbing Room and Raising Faith and is not sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook or Instagram.

Thank you, My Little Climbing Room, for inviting us to try out this place before your Grand Opening and giving us 5 complimentary passes for the purpose of this review.