I Can Do It!

To Love.To Serve.To Lift


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I was Floored!!

I signed John and Rebecca up for an introduction session of floor ball organised by Sport on Kids. Both of them picked up the basics and had fun playing with the other children. At the end of the 2-hour session, both of them were drenched in sweat! I was really happy they picked up a new sport and had their workout.

As we watched the games in the school hall, we took photos and videos and we also had to occupy Li-Ann. As with any unfamiliar place, she would usually observe, tell me what she observed (eg. the school crest, the clock, President Nathan’s photo, a red cross on the wooden floor) and ask me lots of questions. I was grateful for her curiosity as that’s how a child learns best. Being eager parents, we tried to persuade her to get closer to the courts to see her siblings play, to pick up a floor ball stick or even a ball. Finally, she was warmed up after one girl and her nephew started rolling some balls to her. I was thankful they initiated play with her. CM was sharing tips with John and Rebecca on and off. Before I knew it, LA also allowed herself to be taught. Seeing how CM instructed the children in sports made me realise there’s so much knowledge involved in just hitting a small ball or cycling or rollerblading. I love to see CM coach the children – it’s with such ease, passion and patience. I’ve loved him more too. Thank you dear 🙂 I thank God CM is willing to train the children in this area coz I feel extremely inapt when it comes to sports. Tell you a secret: I used to play basketball on the court during PE lessons without even touching the ball. Ball phobia? Maybe. Dunno how I got through the PE lessons all those years…

Ok… back to CM coaching LA…I saw LA hitting the ball (at different positions) – and MANY times!! CM thought LA understood and followed instructions better than her siblings. That was an achievement!! WOW!! We figured it’s probably because the stick, although long (she was using the standard floor ball stick), was light. All she needed to do was to hold the stick correctly, put the stick next to the ball and HIT! It must be such wonderful success for her (plus CM was praising her) and so she kept hitting. I got it down on video too – I was really over the moon, grinning from ear to ear and trying to contain my bursts of excitement while videoing (WAH…it’s very hard). YEA!!! LA can play a ball game!!! As soon as I stopped the video camera, I dashed over to give her a tight squeeze and plenty of kisses. She did GREAT!! And we were very proud of her. On our way home, CM was thinking about cheap secondhand floor ball sticks and balls for the children so they can practise and play together. We are praying for these. Got any lobang? Let me know 🙂


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Save Your Money.Save The Earth

I must confess I was not someone who cared about our environment. When I was young, stuff like recycling or reusing was virtually rather unheard of. When I started my own family, although we were on one income,  we had no problems paying our utility bills. However, as I am now a mom of 3 and am taking care of the household expenses, I begin to look at ways to do things efficiently so as to keep our utility bills at a manageable level. In the process of teaching my children to give thanks for the world that God had made, I am reminded that we need to be good stewards of our resources. As we recycle and reuse, we cut down the wastage, thereby making better use of what we have and freeing up what we do not need for others. Collectively, we can make a significant difference to the life of our earth.

Below are some learning points I share with the children. I hope you find them helpful too. Please feel free to share yours with me – more brains, more juice, more ideas 🙂

#1 Family Time

With electrical bills going up, I try to get the children or the family to spend time together in one room so that we will have only 1 set of lights and 1 fan on, at least for that period of time. We may read, play board games, play together or watch a good TV program or DVD etc.

#2 Keep Cool

On super hot days, I encourage the children to wear sleeveless tops or singlets, do more  activities in their seats and drink lots of water.

#3 Organise the Plugs

We have MANY plugs in our home, especially behind the TV. As a standby equipment will consume electricity, I decided to reorganise the plugs a little. I put the TV and SCV plugs on the same adaptor and my DVD and amplifier plugs on another adaptor. That way, if I do not need to use the DVD or amplifier, they will not be put into a  standby mode unnecessarily.

#4 Bath Time

We put water into a pail before we shower. I try to make sure I have enough warm water for all the 3 children as they bathe one after another. I teach the children to use only the amount of water they need to wet or rinse themselves and when pouring the water, to do it slowly to avoid too much splashing, hence wasting water, and also to focus on the parts of the body that may still be soapy.

#5 Precious Water

We save the water from hand washing and bathing for the flushing and washing of the toilets. I learn this from a friend who does the same as where she stays, the tax on their utilities are very high.  I find this saves me from much heartache as the younger children may not know when they need to turn off the taps.

#6 Bagging the Trash

On days when I know I may not cook or I will use ingredients with little to throw away or we won’t be home for most parts of the day, I will try to choose the size of the plastic bag according to my needs so that it will be filled up when it is to be thrown away.

#7 Reuse Bags

Whenever the item I buy comes in a plastic bag (eg. rice, bread, fruits, vegetables etc), I will try to use it for trash and not just throw them away. That way I will still throw away that bag along with my thrash thus saving other plastic bags for other uses.

#8 Raw Vitamins

We enjoy meals with fresh raw salads with little or no dressing. I realise with no cooking, preparation is quick, nutritional level  is high, much physical energy is saved and likewise our utility bills.

#9 One-Bowl Meal

As a family, we each have a bowl where we will eat from. We take our seconds from the pots on the stove. Less dishes to wash means less water used and therefore, less energy and time taken up to clean/clear up after each meal. The children are very cooperative coz they don’t enjoy doing the dishes or cleaning up very much. Of course there are occasions, such as Christmas, where we set the table more elaborately.

#10 Stop the Flow

I teach the children to stopper the side sink and fill it with water sufficient for them to rinse the dishes. All food or oil must be removed from the dishes and cutlery before soaping them so that the sink of water is kept relatively clean for a while. If the water is not too dirty, it can be used to rinse the table cloth or  a dirty sink or to fill a pot/tray/jar so that the tougher stains can be washed off easily.


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Wonderful Doctors

Have you met good, kind and personable doctors? Do you know doctors who notice the change in your glasses, hairstyle or even a hoarseness in your voice when the last time you saw them was almost 12 months ago? How about one who shares with you about his grandchildren and even keeps a drawing your child gave him a year ago? What do you do with these wonderful souls? I can’t stop giving thanks for them. I praise my God for them.

I’m so so blessed to have known such excellent doctors. God provided me with them 4 years ago to make my breast cancer treatment more tolerable. While I wholeheartedly agree with the proverb ‘An apple a day keeps the doctor away’ (I’m not siding with the fruit just because that’s my name), I secretly wish I can skip the fruit and see more of my doctors. Till this day, I’m very grateful to the friend who, when I was considering where I should seek treatment, encouraged me to find a doctor whom I can communicate with and who value me not only as a patient, but also a woman who seek help and hope so that she can continue to fulfill her role normally as a wife, mother and daughter.

Thank you, my dear doctors, my dear friends.

I continue to pray for God’s showers of blessings on you and your families. May you see the work of His Hands and experience His Power of salvation in your lives.

PS. Just in case you think I’m biased, I’m not the only one who thinks these doctors of mine are wonderful. I’ve met patients of these doctors who had so many good things to say about them. Recently, I met a doctor friend who knows ALL my doctors and have worked with them and she agrees with me that they are superb. However, she lamented that there are not many of such doctors left in the public sector. I can only thank God for His Favour – I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I have the most wonderful doctors in the world!!


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Homeschooling My Children

I stayed home right after I delivered John in April 2000. With Rebecca arriving only in 2003, I had 3 good years with John. We did a lot of things together – we talked, sang, read, played, did craft work, cleaned the bathroom, went out to parks, libraries, museums etc. I also taught him to read and write. When he was more confident in his reading, we read the  adult’s NIV Bible together. Being curious, he asked many questions and I answered him to the best of my ability. I was amazed at John’s desire to know God and I was very thankful and privileged to read with him and teach him the Word of God. I realised that a child will be what he’s fed. I prayed that I would diligently feed him God’s Word.

When Rebecca was born, we managed the confinement on our own – Chee Meng took two weeks of leave and I ordered in my confinement meals. John loved Rebecca and he was a wonderful helper. I taught him what to do and he eagerly obeyed. He would read to Rebecca, play with her and when she got older, teach her many things. I appreciated John and saw the results of teaching John at home. I began to ask myself what education is all about – is it just doing well academically?As I prayed, God helped me to see His perspective.

Psalm 111:10

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise.

Deuteronomy 11:18-21

18 Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 19 Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 20 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, 21 so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land that the LORD swore to give your forefathers, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth.

Proverbs 22:6

Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.

I believe that education is, first and foremost, character building according to the Word of God and then, academic achievement. Hence, it has to begin with teaching obedience. Until a child obeys, he cannot learn effectively. I saw the realisation of this principle when I was teaching in an all boys primary school. The real test came when it was time for John to begin formal education in a primary school.

I was diagnosed with breast cancer the year we were due to register John for primary school. While there were pressures to send him to school because of my health, we chose not to veer to the left or right but to continue to obey God’s calling to homeschool.  God provided my parents to look after and supervise the children while many good friends helped us with our meals during the trying months of my surgeries and treatment. There were also the  numerous others who accompanied me for my chemotherapy sessions and also the faithful prayer warriors who fervently prayed for us. John was very motivated as he worked on his exercises, he had a lot of time to read and play – both of which he enjoyed tremendously and we were able to delve more into the Bible. Li-Ann also had to miss her weekly lesson at Rainbow Centre. In spite of this, LA continued to develop very well. My mom was also instrumental in Rebecca’s receptivity to the learning of the Chinese language.  Having a peace in his heart, Chee Meng was able to go to work daily without much interruptions and he didn’t have to take too much annual leave. We also bond together closer as a family and the children felt secure with the daily routine despite my frequent absences due to trips to the hospital.

Homeschooling has also given us more time as a family. We go to church together, have weekly family devotions and communion, pray for one another daily, kissed and hugged one another at least twice a day, talk a lot, play lego, doll house, board games, puppet shows and animals etc, swim, cycle, go for holidays and learn many things together as a family. The children have come to appreciate what what we’ve done for them too. They thank us verbally for their food and gifts and also make us cards and little things. John even made a card for his daddy because he’s the ‘Best Handyman in Town’. We treasure these precious moments and are encouraged by their thoughtfulness.

The synergistic outcome of homeschooling was even more visible when Li-Ann was born. On hindsight, I saw how God had paved the way for her arrival. John and Rebecca loved her very much and would want to talk and play with her. Li-Ann was constantly stimulated and most of the time, all her senses were actively engaged. This impacted LA’s growth and development a great deal; she saw what her siblings could do and wanted to catch up with them – that in itself provided the impetus for her to pick up the necessary skills so she can be on par them. She ran where they ran; when they pretended to fall, she did the same; she wanted to try what they eat; if we buy something for the older two, she would ask for it too; as John/Rebecca washes the dishes, she also wants to observe and help; in the midst of our conversation, she often queried, “What are you talking about?”. I am encouraged and excited by her curiosity and level of energy. I pray that as I teach and train LA, she will be  a good witness and glorify God in all that she does.

When my children obey me, I am able to impart not only values but knowledge. At home, in addition to their work, the children are expected to help out in the daily chores such as meal preparation, washing up, doing of laundry, folding of the clothes, packing their own table/toys etc. As they gain independence, they also learn to serve one another.  I’m grateful that they have learnt to love and look out for one another and take care of themselves. As I teach, I’m learning too. Oftentimes, I realise there are many things I do not know; there are many things I need to learn; and there are even more things I need to relearn. It’s a very humbling process. Thankfully, in spite of my imperfection, God Himself will teach my children.

Isaiah 54:13

All your sons will be taught by the LORD, and great will be your children’s peace.


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Li-Ann turns 5!

Li-Ann turned FIVE last week. As we celebrated her 5th birthday, we gave thanks for many things:

*It’s HALF a decade! I thank God for taking care of LA.
*She blew out ALL her 5 candles all by herself. Thankfully kor kor and jie jie were not too near her to beat her to it.
*One day before her birthday, she told me,’I want angpow (red packets).’ I’m not sure if her siblings told her anything but I taught her we should not asked for gifts.
*God blessed LA with many gifts. Some were angpows (so LA’s wish was granted). One friend gave her her favourite play dough. She said,’Yea yea! Goody, goody goody!’ Another  friend gave her a cranberry cake – and Li-Ann knew she was eating cranberry; she really enjoyed the cake. While eating at a restaurant, someone came and gave us a $20 voucher which helped to offset our bill. WOW!! It’s like money falling from the sky…
*She is more mature now. Just now when Rebecca cried because Li-Ann sat on her fingers, Li-Ann not only hugged her and apologised when asked to do so, she even went to get a piece of tissue and helped to wipe off Rebecca’s tears. So sweet of her.
*She is SUPER chatty and wants to tell us what she thinks and also to find out what’s going on.
*One morning I was surprised when she took off her shorts and panty and sat on the toilet bowl. When I asked her, she said she wanted to pee. And she did! Since then, LA has been telling us she needs to use the bathroom to urinate and these were pretty accurate signals. During the weekend when I suspected she may want to poo, I asked her if she wanted to go to the bathroom, she said ‘yes’ and actually did her big business for that day. I continue to pray for success in toilet training.
*I’m training her to spit out the water as she rinses her mouth. She reminded me again that she wanted to use toothpaste. Hopefully that’s encouragement for her to spit out the water and toothpaste more during tooth brushing.
*Her pretend play is more elaborate now. I saw her playing swimming with 2 frisbees, with pictures of shark and fish on them. She was doing leopard crawl as she swim with the fish. So cute. She also loved to pretend to be a book seller – she would lay out the books neatly in a row and try to sell them. She enjoyed being a teacher too – telling her pupils to sit down on the little chairs or cushions she had arranged and reminding them to keep quiet and listen. Sometimes she played the mama to her baby Carol too – carrying the baby, rocking her gently, putting her in the pram, changing her diaper and feeding her milk from the bottle (but she’s the one chewing the teat :-(). It;s so good to see her playing on her own happily – engaging all her senses and a good application of her fine motor and communication skills as well.
*She recognises ‘triangle’, ‘square’ and ‘circle’/’round’. The educational psychologist told her about ‘trapezium’ and she observed that it struck a chord with her. Maybe she heard me teaching Rebecca. She can read ‘God’ and knows that ‘M’ is for mommy, monkey and MacDonald’s (an evidence of successful marketing techniques although we rarely visit the fast food outlet) and along with that, ‘O’ and ‘S’ too.


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Li-Ann’s Lines

As Li-Ann becomes chatty, some things she say are sssooo cute, sssooo childlike but yet so reflective of her being a thoughtful child. Perhaps you’ve also spotted something similar in your children. Listen! Hear their hearts. Cherish the child.

#1

The educational therapist was telling Li-Ann to put some beads into some vertical columns by following a certain pattern. When LA put them into the wrong column and she reminded her, LA said,’Oh I forgot.’ The therapist didn’t know whether to laugh or to get angry. She thought LA sounded very polite. You should hear her say it – very cute, very sincere and very funny.

#2

During another session with the educational therapist, Li-Ann told her after completing a simple ship puzzle,’Ship is sailing to Singapore.’ (WAH…good alliteration!) Although unaware of the context, she marvelled at the good sentence structure of what LA uttered. Later on, I told her it must have been some things we commented in passing as we viewed the National Day Parade rehearsal and the Parade on the actual day. I could sense that LA has been soaking up information, processing it actively and then sharing with us her thoughts. Thank God for her cognitive development.

#3

Chee Meng said when he was playing imaginary chess with LA one day and after a move, he said,’I win!’ Guess our little girl’s response? She told daddy quickly,’You cheat!’ CM was amused and speechless. I laughed out loud. How fast her mind ticks!

#4

One day, as Rebecca gave thanks that Chinese NewYear is coming, she also prayed that she would not be scared of the lion dance. Li-Ann, upon hearing the prayer, prayed,’I pray Jie Jie  will (she missed out ‘not’) be scared of the lion dance.’ Then she said,’Jie Jie is a big girl. She is not scared of the lion dance.’ So sweet of her to pray for her Jie Jie Rebecca.

#5

Being the naturally curious child, whenever she missed out on our conversations and wanted to know, she would ask,’Mama/Papa, what are you talking about?’ Good question asked! And grammatically correct too! Praise the Lord!


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2010 in the Mighty Hands of my Abba Father

A Blessed 2010 to you!!!

It’s already 6 January 2010. Am I a little late to commit the new year to the Lord? Not too late perhaps; at least it’s still within the first week of the first month of the new year 😛

Hubby and I made a point to pray and commit this year to the Lord on 31 December 2009. It was good. We probably will do that every year. We ask you to continue to uphold us in prayer, witness the unfolding of God’s plans and by faith, give thanks for all that He will do for us.

1. Salvation for my parents and brother and for CM’s side of the family – siblings and nephews and nieces who have not accepted Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. We also pray for our family members to be open as they are invited to church or evangelistic activities.

2. Good health and immune system for all in the family. I pray that we will take greater responsibility for the health of our bodies which is also the temple of God.

3. Grow spiritually individually, as a couple and as a family.

4. Be joyful in all that God wants us to do – whether individually or as a family. I pray that God will give us a common vision and voice as we serve Him as a family.

5. The children will continue to be passionate and focused in their learning.

6. More organised in homeschooling – especially when Rebecca is in primary 1 this year. John will need some consolidation for his foundational skills for the first 3 years. Li-Ann will learn to sing (longer songs), read, write and count – we pray that with maturity and growth, there’ll be more consistent results. I’m still learning how to ‘split’ myself and yet still remain whole and sane – really need to trust God to multiply my time and efforts.

7. Li-Ann’s PDA (an extra artery) will close so that no surgery is required. While her horizontal nystagmus (involuntary eye movement) is congenital, I’m trusting God for healing.

8. To build on the children’s current abilities to take care of themselves and the home so that they may be more independent.

9. Manage my blog wisely and effectively so that God may be seen and glorified – pray that God will teach me how to pen my thoughts quickly and concisely.

10. We will ALWAYS seek to rely on God for ALL areas of our lives so that we may walk in His will.

I leave you with some thoughts from my devotion ‘My Utmost for His Highest’ by Oswald Chambers:

‘All our vows and resolutions end in denial because we have no power to carry them out. When we have come to the end of ourselves, not in imaginations but really, we are able to receive the Holy Spirit. “Receive ye the Holy Ghost” – the idea is that of invasion. There is only one lodestar in the life now, the Lord Jesus Christ.’

I pray that you’ll be strengthened by the Lodestar.

May He be your Beacon of Light.