January 28, 2009

A Meal To Die For

Oh my, go check this out.

January 24, 2009

When Did It Happen?

You often seemed to be in a rush to grow older.
Was it because of your older siblings?

You often had the most wise and enigmatic expression.
Was it because of your depth of maturity?

You often found people mistaking you for someone older in years.
Was it because you had a lot of weight on your shoulders?

Whatever it is, you have grown. You are now a young lady and we are so glad we gave you your Bat Barakah. Be watchful and vigilant. You can be sure the enemy is around.

In the meantime, when did you grow up?

January 22, 2009

Be Still

We had waited for ages. Hours, in fact. And I am not exaggerating. We queued to get a number and we queued again to be seen to. By the time we got to our turn, we were tired.

After getting the key to our rooms, we talked dinner. Amazingly they opted for a takeaway!

If you know my children, then you'd know they often opt for fast food. They also love noise as most teenagers do.

This time, however, it was unanimous - they wanted to escape the hustle and bustle.

In some weird way, I was both relieved and proud. Relieved because I, too, had had enough. Proud because I was reminded of the psalm which said "Be still and know that I am God". I have often told them to learn to be still... and this seemed to indicate that they are learning!

January 19, 2009

Distraction Therapy Works

They were acting cranky. Aged six and four. Woken up from sleep in a bad mood. Close to tears as they approached the nursery cum kindergarten where they normally enjoy. Desperate for a change, I shot a quick prayer up to my Counselor and Guide.

"HAAAAAAALP!" I said inside of me.

Then I saw the older Arrow's mop of hair. He has thick, strong, black hair. Like his Dad. And like his Dad, when he gets up in the morning, it can be a little wild. Untamable at times. This day seemed like one of those days. So I dug into my handbag to look for my comb.

That handbag is a bottomless pit sometimes so it took me a while to find it.

Fishing around, I found it and brought it out with a flourish, saying triumphantly, "TAAAAADAAAA!"

I shall never forget the looks on my sons' faces that greeted my glee.

Shock. Incredulous. A "Mama's-gone-barmy" look.

Then as they burst out laughing, I realised why they had reacted the way they did. In my hand was a poor specimen of a comb - more than half its teeth were missing!

Needless to say, no one had their hair combed that day. But apart from a Mom who was red-faced for other reasons, the others were red-faced because they were in stitches.

Well, at least they went to school in a good mood.

I wonder how they told their friends. Worse, their teachers!

January 13, 2009

A(n Older) Mommy Moment

I was going to join this meme.
mommy moments
But then I realised that most of the moms taking part are moms of young children - they have digital photos of their little ones. Mine are all prints! What an age difference.

I must seriously discover how to create a meme and then start my own! Hahahaha!

January 11, 2009

Learning to Love

When I delivered my second Arrow, Arrow #1 was still asleep at home, in the care of my mother-in-law.

He was most upset when he woke and found me missing.

Later, when his Dad brought him to visit his new brother and me, he refused to sit next to me. It was as if he was silently angry with me but didn't know how to express it. He was bewildered. What 21-month old child wouldn't be?

Thankfully, a friend had given us a tip to encourage the bonding of young children with their newborn sibling.

Get the toddler a huge boxed gift, colourfully wrapped and beautifully decorated. It should be something the child would like, price irrelevant. Then, she said, present the gift to the Tai Kor (Chinese for big brother, and I don't mean the show!). When giving the present, explain that this came from the new baby, and was specially for him.

So we did.

Initially he was still silent. His eyes shifted between me, his baby brother, and the box which we placed on his lap, holding it there for him.

Then he reached out for the gaily wrapped package.

Gently, I helped him open the layers. It was one of those magnetic write-on-wipe-off toys.

He was hooked.

Moving across, he sat next to me and played happily with it. Still hardly saying a word.

Since then, they have spent more than seventeen years of their life together, sixteen of which were in the same room. Great friends and great brothers. I love watching them play and laugh together....

January 9, 2009

Turning Twenty

Arrow #1 used to be quite a shy and withdrawn chap.

Whenever we went out, even to visit a friend's house, he would not leave my side. Often as I moved from one part of the place to another, I would feel a tug at my skirt as he held on to it to make sure I didn't get too far away from him! I would make sure my steps were not too big so that he could keep up.

Once, when another boy hit him, he didn't hit back. Rather, he stood there! The mother of the other boy was most apologetic. She was also surprised at my son's behaviour. She couldn't believe that my son didn't hit back!

Over the years, he has grown to be a confident young man. Almost half of the one hundred youths who turned up on the first day of Chinese New Year were his friends alone! On that day, he was socializing with many and at the same time helping us with the logistics. He has friends from many different groups - different schools and churches. He is often asked to go out by different groups of friends to movies, shops, parties, and even just to hang out together.

What brought the change?

Perhaps it was watching his parents interact - Hubby and I are sociable creatures. We like small groups.

Perhaps it was attending a missions awareness course - He wanted to reach him friends. He still does and works hard at keeping in touch.

Perhaps it was a healing that the Lord did - He has had much prayer and we send him for courses.

Perhaps it was the football and other sports he played - he learned to interact in teams and work well together.

Perhaps it was just him slowly developing to be who he is as God intended - We tried to let him be himself.

Perhaps it was all the above.

Whatever it is, as he turns twenty later this year, we are pleased that he has grown to be who he is.

And we thank God.

January 7, 2009


One time when I was away across the South China Sea, my dear Hubby took the two boys for a swim (my girl wasn't born yet). When it was time to go home, my Hubby got them changed and walked with them to the car.

Or so he thought.

One moment Arrow #2 was walking beside him, and next moment, he had disappeared! This is the dread of every parent!

Together with Arrow #1 they searched.

They enlisted the help of the security man and the lifeguard.

They peeked at the bottom of the pool.

No sign of Arrow #2.

Suddenly another security guard showed up with him in tow. Phew!

Arrow #2, being as short as he was, saw a man with long trousers and followed the trousers without looking up. He had forgotten that his Dad was wearing shorts that day, not the usual working pants! He trotted along this stranger's side until the front foyer. Then he realised his mistake! Thank God he had the presence of mind to look for help.

Did he cry? No.

Was he scared? Not initially.

I didn't hear about this until I got back a day later. Hubby and I then sat on his bed and chatted with him. Then he cried. And we prayed with and for him.

We were glad we had taught them even at a young age what to do if they got lost - stay put if possible, or if they saw someone in uniform, ask for help. He was too young to remember his phone number then. So we knew angels were watching over him!

January 4, 2009

The Shape of My Belly?

When I was pregnant with Arrow #2, the old lady next door would often greet me in her local dialect and ramble on about some things which I struggled to understand. Then she would inevitably ask the question, "Is it a boy or a girl?"

That is one of the most universal questions encountered by any pregnant woman!

Up until the twenty-sixth week, my answer would be, "I don't know".

This would be greeted with a snort and retort, "It's a girl. Look at how your belly is shaped" I forget if she said it was shaped pointed or rounded. But she was convinced I was carrying a girl.

I didn't want to tell her that my obstetrician had scanned and told me "70 percent it's a girl". I didn't want to give her that pleasure of being right simply by basing it on a shape! I felt indignant and it insulted my midwifery training!

More important to me at that time was that God had promised me sons - with a plural. So if this second pregnancy was a girl, would I have to conceive again? It didn't make sense!

Then when I was in my twenty-eighth week of pregnancy, the obstetrician exclaimed while scanning me, "AH! It's a boy! How could I have missed this before!" What relief I felt!

My next encounter with the next-door Aunty saw me trumpeting my my triumph reply to her usual question, "Doctor says it is a boy - confirmed!"

Her shocked and crushed look wiped the smug look off my face faster than you could say "Confirmed"!

I hadn't realised how important it was for her that she was right. It then struck me that she was often ignored at home. Perhaps this was one way she felt significant - to be an expert in something.

Worse - I didn't have the vocabulary to comfort her or to make it right. All I could do was to send over some food later, like a peace offering, which she graciously accepted.

Whilst I felt vindicated somehow that God's promise came to pass, I also learned a lesson. I would be more gentle in my speech, especially with the older folk.

"A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver" Proverbs 25:11

January 3, 2009

Lessons from a Stubby Nose

When Arrow #1 was born after that loooong difficult labour, my first reaction was "YES! A son!" which is what the Lord had promised me even before I got married!

My second reaction was, "He hasn't got a nose!"

Being Asian, the bridge of his nose was one part I wanted to examine. While in utero, I had specifically prayed for him to have certain features - dimple (he has one), curly hair (yes he does), look like his Dad (a longer taller version) and so forth.

Then I was reminded of a casual remark that my own mother made when I was still very young. She turned to me one day, out of the blue, and offered me to have eye surgery so that I would have double eyelids - much sought after by Chinese. I recall declining, but the shock of that stayed with me. I didn't know she had been observing me and I felt I was found wanting. I felt I didn't look nice because I didn't have double eyelids.

Many years later, the Lord healed me of this. Ironically, as I age, I now DO have double eyelids - the skin sagging I guess!

But back to my newborn son.

As that memory came, I knew it was God telling me that my son was fearfully and wonderfully made, and that I should accept him as he was. Regardless of his nose!

So I put my finger gently onto his non-existing bridge and whispered to him, "You are my son, in whom I am well pleased."

Proverbs 18:21 tell us that death and life are in the power of the tongue. Those who love death, speak death, and will reap death. By choosing to speak life, I loved life, and saw life in my son.

Months later I realised that the bridge hadn't shown itself yet at birth. Now, he has quite an aquiline nose really!

January 1, 2009

BIG Mmmmomma's Big Kids

At the start of this new year, I decided to start a blog about my passions. To begin with, my children!

I have three of my own.

Arrow #1 is going to be twenty this year (gosh I am getting old!). He's going to go for further studies.... but WHAT we still don't know! Whilst waiting, he had two jobs last year, but none at the moment.

Arrow #2 has a scholarship offer to do engineering in another country. It's nearby and his results come out in a few months time. We'll know then. Meanwhile he's working as a volunteer. (Did I say "working"? I AM old!)

Arrow #3 just entered secondary school - junior 1 to those on a different schooling system. I am told she's a miniature version of me. Miniature is good because I am big.

I haven't started talking about the children who didn't pop out from my womb, but whom I still consider my own.

Welcome to my blog anyway.