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The Blessing Box – September

Find out more about my Blessing Box in The Blessing Box – January

What I share in this Blessing Box:
*Snake encounter at Botanic Gardens
*John’s Tioman trip
*A talk in Mandarin ‘How to Communicate Happily with our Special Needs Children’
*Kite flying at Promontory@Marina Bay
*ARISE 2012
*Report from LA’s Speech Therapist

* A little overdue but must share this exciting find. A few families with Down syndrome, including ourselves, went for a picnic at Botanic Gardens sometime in September. I spotted a snake in one of the pavilions and got John and CM to take some of shots of it. Frankly, I don’t think I’ll ever look out for any snakes in our parks but I’m sure they are more common than we think. Here are some photos we took:

More photos and closeups of the snake can be seen at Picnic Photos at Botanic Gardens.

* John went for his Tioman trip – a reward for the hard work he put into his Nature Explorer’s Programme. John wrote about his first trip on his own away from his parents and shared some photos in My Trip to Tioman.

* I went for a talk organised by Life Spring Community Network and Angel Heart Family (Singapore) on How to Communicate Happily with our Special Needs Children 【与孩子愉快沟通】 by Dr Cheng Chen-Chen of Seed Institute. A pre-school special education senior lecturer with the Seed Institute Singapore and a renowned language therapist with 10 over years of experience, Dr Cheng shared the basics of communication – verbal and non-verbal. She further encouraged the parents/caregivers to talk to their children about the daily routine, hence indirectly teaching them while spending time with them. Dr Cheng also reminded us that when we correct our children, we should focus on the issue and not the child. That was such a timely reminder as I am often guilty of this. On speaking to Dr Cheng, I was thankful for her affirmation of my efforts in nurturing LA.

* As we approach the Promontory@Marina Bay, kites of different colours, shapes and sizes greeted us against the backdrop of concrete jungle of the downtown area. We were grateful that we got a parking lot rather quickly as there were many cars waiting too. It was a windy place and the whole place was packed with families and bustling with activities.  There were goody bags given out, kite and windmill making workshops, balloon sculpting and buskers at the board walk. We flew the kites the children made and also a kite which CM and I bought many years back. It was fun just letting the girls run around. Pity that John was away.

* We went for the first ARISE practice that will lead up to the children’s worship in April 2012. It was good to meet with the youth who helped the children in the previousARISE practices and concert in 2010. And LA remembered them! They were reminded of certain ground rules and also that as they sing, they are worshiping God. The children came away singing and dancing, even John.

* It was about a year and a half since I last saw Li-Ann’s Speech Therapist at NUH. She was very patient with LA, giving her time to warm up. She assessed her language and cognitive abilities, giving her pictures to look at and asking her questions. She thought that LA was doing very well – in terms of her response time, understanding and her vocabulary. In fact, she said she enjoyed hearing how LA spoke and gauged that her verbal abilities are appropriate of her age or even higher. I thank God for the comforting report regarding LA’s speech and language development.

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What Do You Do?

It’s such a pleasure to be home with the children. Of course there are days where I am tearing my hair out. But I’m always grateful – even for the bad hair days, because I can be with them. Recently, when I looked at them and spent time with them, God inspired me to pen down this poem…and I had to do it…when I couldn’t sleep anymore at 6am…

What do you do with curved lashes, cute dimples and cheeky smiles?
You adore them and kiss them…

What do you do with silky hair, brilliant eyes and smooth skins?
You marvel and wonder at their flawless beauty…

What do you do with nimble fingers, swift feet and active bodies?
You hold them and wish you can keep up with them…

What do you do with high-pitched singing, action dances and creative plays?
You praise, cheer and clap thunderingly…

What do you do with thoughtful initiative, warm concerns and consoling embraces?
You are touched by the big little hearts…

What do you do with strange ideas, curious questions and incessant talks?
You tire but are filled with amazement and joy…

What do you do with rude words, rough play and irate faces?
You are upset but try to be patient and understanding…

What do you do with ‘no’ answers, reluctant ‘yeses’ and defiant sulks?
You are boiling yet breathing and struggling with the bellow in your throat…

What do you do with fake burps, smelly farts and wet sneezes?
You (sniggering) remind and teach about manners and hygiene…

What do you do with baby cries, chesty coughs and wily whines?
You listen, chide and hug…

What do you do with green mucous, burning fevers and persistent diarrhoea?
You stay, pray and trust…

The Almighty God
Who made you and these awesome miracles
Who knows you
Who loves them
Who will ALWAYS give THE BEST
Who will NEVER leave you
…and your precious

EVER.