I Can Do It!

To Love.To Serve.To Lift


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I Want to Fold the Socks

As we were folding clothes one day, Li-Ann told me, when she saw me about to fold her socks,”Mama, I want to fold the socks.” I wasn’t taking her seriously coz it’s not easy for even the older ones to master this well (note emphasis). I left the pair of socks for her, reminding myself to give her a chance to try her hand at it.

I took another pair of her socks, showed her what to do step-by-step and gave her verbal instructions at the same time. She imitated pretty well and managed to turn one part of the sock up to encase the other part. Just to make sure she knew exactly what I taught her, I got her to try on another pair of her socks. And she tried her best, with a little help.

Fantastic!!! That’s another piece of clothing she can fold! Another achievement! Another encouragement for mommy Apple!


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The Blessing Box – December

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

December was an extremely busy month for us and it flew by in the blink of an eye. These were some interesting events…
-ARISE Practice
-LA’s Horse Riding Therapy
-Meeting 2 New Friends
-Learning the guitar
-LA’s visit to an Orthopedic surgeon
-Logos Hope at Harbourfront
-PIP
-Catching Up with My Primary School English Teacher
-Catching Up with My Secondary School Math Teacher

* One Friday, I had to …
-bring the children for ARISE practice from 9am to 5pm
-bring Li-Ann for her cardio appointment at KKH – this is already a postponed appointment
-ensure that John could continue his usual Math tuition at the practice venue
-bring the children for swimming lessons in the evening – we had to go as the children had missed lessons for 2 consecutive weeks

…and these were the conditions given…
-I had to take the MRT with the children to Aljunied for the practice
-I didn’t know where I had put LA’s easilink card so I had to pay adult fares for her rides
-it was drizzling the whole day
-I had to make my way to KKH with LA using the MRT and shuttle bus
-we had to lug our lunch/water bottles/books/files/swimming stuff
-I was still coughing a little and so too much walking would make me breathless

I was very frustrated when we left the house in the morning because I just could not recall where I put LA’s easilink card. I heard from a friend that that’s one of the side effects of chemotherapy. Hehehe…at least I can find a scapegoat if I forget anything. Jokes aside, it can be rather annoying practically. However, I told myself that I want to choose to be joyful and thankful today. Surprisingly, when I made that choice, God gave me peace and I saw His provision.

I gave thanks that…
-I found LA’s easilink card before December ended
-as we began our MRT journey, a prayer buddy sms and asked how she could pray for me
-we were not too late for the practice
-the children were in good hands at the practice venue
-the children were eagerly praising God even when we faced such a situation
-the venue for the practice wasn’t too far from the MRT station
-we were given a seat on all 3 of our train trips; one pregnant lady even asked the guy next to her to give up his seat to LA
-although there was constant drizzling, there was no wind so our clothes weren’t wet (our umbrellas weren’t very big)
-the children didn’t complain although their bags were rather heavy
-going to KKH and back didn’t take as long as I expected
-total time in KKH – rather short – about 40 minutes; we waited to see the doctor (5mins), took weight and height for LA, saw doctor and asked him questions where he gave clear and objective explanations, paid up, got new appointment and used the bathroom
-the doctor engaged LA in conversation naturally and checked her quickly
-the doctor was very kind to emphasize that her PDA was probably very tiny and there’s a chance it will close
– the doctor said there’s no restriction on the activities she’s involved in and there’s no need for antibiotics should she require invasive dental treatment
-the weather was good and the children were able to go for swimming
-we took a cab and the cab driver knew exactly where we were going coz he sent a passenger there about one week ago
-I had an opportunity to share with a friend and to talk to John’s tutor
-I had time to spend with the Lord – normally if I had the car, I would be running errands; I believed the Lord knew He had to take away my mobility while still keeping my adrenaline pumping with all that activities
-I had time to be with my children physically and to interact with them
-we finished all the food we brought and hence lightened our load
-a friend sent me encouraging verses and reminded me to sing praises to the Lord
-we had a good steamboat dinner with daddy
-the Lord sustained us that day

During the day, God gave me GOOD news…
-a friend is expecting her first child
-a lady I knew donated some items to the DSA so it can be sold to raise funds
-a friend agreed to help to check some Chinese medical terms for a booklet I’m helping to get printed

*Li-Ann was given a place for the holiday riding lessons at RDA. Louise and Glow were back to work with LA and Louise really made LA work very hard. She told me how she dreamt of teaching LA to steer the horse independently. When she tried teaching LA, LA faithfully followed instructions and did well. Another time, I saw how Louise guided LA, first verbally, then tapping her on her arm should she forget which was her left or right side. She also told LA how hard to pull the reins depending on when the turn was to be made. I really thank God for Louise’s patience. At least someone who knows all about horses was guiding and teaching LA coz I know nothing about riding and taking care of horses. Just before Christmas, Louise even ‘dressed’ Glow up just for LA. She’s really a SWEET lady.

One day, LA asked me why Glow can’t kiss her. I urged her to ask Louise but she didn’t. I told one of the side walkers who then asked Louise. Louise told me the closest one can get to receive a kiss from a horse (other than a messy and wet one on the cheek) was to allow the horse to take a small piece of apple/carrot from one’s hand. And I would be able to take photos of LA feeding Glow too! How nice was that? So we went to buy apples and carrots and I even got LA to help to cut some apples. Our problem that morning was – Daddy forgot we had to go to RDA and drove the car to office! I tried frantically to flag down a cab but we didn’t get into one until about half an hour later. LA was disappointed to have missed her riding lesson that morning but we still went as LA was expecting to feed Glow. It was exciting to get really close to Glow. Louise showed us how she usually cleans Glow up. LA was eager too. But when she felt Glow’s wet tongue, she decided she had enough trying to feed Glow. Well…at least she got an answer to her question. Meanwhile, I had my share of fun 🙂

Cutting apples for Glow

Removing the reins

Brushing Glow

Cleaning the hoof

Wiping Glow's face

Cleaning Glow's nose

Snacks for Glow

Louise instructing LA on how to feed Glow

KISS...KISS...crunch...munch...

Thank you for your kisses...but...no thanks...

I give thanks for some of the side walkers who really adored LA although they have only known her for a few weeks. They saw how LA, in spite of her age, put in effort during her lessons and were very serious and meticulous in everything she was told to do. I’m truly touched that LA is very much favoured.

LA was given more photos of her with Glow and she received a certificate for having passed Grade 3B for her horse riding at the end of the December holiday sessions. LA has improved in her horse riding skills and has progressed steadily in terms of her abilities. She can recognised most letters of the alphabet and many more numbers and she can write her own name with minimal promptings. Physically, she is more willingly to take risks. Cognitively, she is processing more in that little mind of hers and coming up with unexpected ideas and responses. PTL!!!

* This December, we had the privilege to get to know two new friends who were doing their school project on photo journalism. I’m grateful for the couple of days that we can share our lives with the two girls. They enjoyed getting to know us too. I’m so thankful that they finished their project on time although the scope for their project was very much broadened just 2 days before the deadline. Their tutors had been very kind to allow us to sit in for their presentation. When I got there I knew why God prompted me to go. That morning, I found out that the laptop hard disk containing their presentation had crashed! After the children prayed for them, I told them to go play and not disturbed Jie Jie. I waited and prayed, determined that we should stand alongside these diligent girls no matter what. Finally, it was fixed – Jie Jie was able to redo the whole presentation, thanks to their gracious tutors who gave them time.`

We were given opportunities to sit  through the presentations of a few other groups and it was a wonderful lesson for me – finding out what photo journalism is all about and having a few queries answered. John picked up many tips as well when he witnessed how the tutors gave feedback to the students on aspects of picture composition, photo taking techniques and equipment knowledge etc.

* John and Rebecca have been learning how to play the guitar on and off. Recently, we were blessed with 2 child-sized guitars. With that, they can play the guitar with the father during our family worship. It has been most satisfying to sing together as a family and also to see their motivation to pick up the skill so they can increase their repertoire of songs.

* After hearing one of the orthopedic surgeons speak, I thought it would be a good idea to let this doctor examine Li-Ann physically and see how she’s faring. It was very kind of the doctor to agree to see LA as a subsidised patient. I was also appreciative at how speedily his secretary helped us to schedule an appointment. Upon examination, he was happy with how LA was doing. He was also impressed when LA pronounced his name correctly and clearly – he claimed it was better than how some of his friends said it. We were greatly encouraged upon hearing the compliment.

* Logos Hope was in Singapore from 17-29 December and we told ourselves we MUST visit this ship and also the book store on board. We were disappointed when the Doulos was handed over to her new owner in 2010. The new book store was bigger and brighter. We were thankful we had time to immerse ourselves in the books. Of course, we had to buy some books too. Watch this video about Logos Hope.

* We ended the year with a PIP – Papa Initiated Project – painting the living and dining room. In fact, it was more than painting, it was a spring cleaning-cum-painting project. As we shifted the things around, we also threw away unwanted stuff, reorganised whatever’s left and vacuumed up the thick dust hidden behind the TV console, book shelves and paintings etc. The children were  excellent help as they painted and helped with the cleaning up. Even little LA didn’t want to be left out. I made sure the hardworking ‘workers’ had food and water as they worked while helping to touch up now and then. Yes, our backs ached and our hands became stiff but we were extremely satisfied with the clean walls and the new design. Most of all, we were very proud that we did it TOGETHER as a family! Here are some work-in-progress shots…

I can paint!!

A photo with my little helper

Having fun with Jie Jie

Posing with Kor Kor

Doing it together!

* I FINALLY had a chance to meet with my primary school English teacher to catch up. We had been keeping touch for many years since we last met at my wedding. My teacher was pleasantly surprised when I called her up and asked to meet her that evening. She was excited to see me and I was so happy to see her and hear her share about how she had been. Despite the many twist and turn of events, she recounted how God had blessed her in so many ways, even when she was holidaying abroad. I was grateful I had time to get to know my teacher a little bit better and was also reminded of how I should begin 2012 – with a heart of gratitude.

* As if meeting with my primary school teacher wasn’t enough, God brought my secondary school Math teacher and her husband back to Singapore so my clique could spend some time with her on the last day of 2011. She still looked as youthful as ever. You must hear her speak and laugh to realise that I’m telling the truth. My girlfriends actually wondered if we looked older than her…My children remembered her too as she offered to help me babysit them when I had to go for my cancer treatment 4 years ago. I thank God for wonderful memories He gave me with my teachers and friends.


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The Blessing Box – November

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

* We went for an ATI homeschool conference in Malacca. I had difficulty getting transport to go up. I was thankful that the organisers were patient as I only confirmed my attendance about 5 days before we leave. A few friends also offered help. One told me that her hubby could try to leave in the morning so my family will go in the same convoy. I was really touched by her love for us. Finally, I was so so grateful that hubby’s team building was postponed and he could go together with us. Hurray!! No more transportation issues!

It was a very good conference. I was grateful that we could just take in the teaching and not have to bother too much with the children or chores. We learnt many things. What was important for CM and I was that we needed to identify the lies that we had been believing about ourselves so that we would not hinder our communication and relationship. These are the insights John and Rebecca gained from their participation in the ALERT Cadet and FULFIL programs.

* Recently, I got a young lady to come to my home to teach the children art. The first lesson was to draw a person. She patiently explained how to draw and also the details to look out for. While at this, she also tried to encourage LA to draw by mostly giving verbal instructions along with directing LA on what and where to draw with her fingers. The children then used oil pastels and water colour to complete their paintings. I was amazed at how well the children can draw – even LA. LA did really well until she decided to randomly apply water colour to her WHOLE picture. I pray that with time and practice, LA will improve and enjoy drawing and painting. Daddy was full of praises for the children when he saw what they did. Thank you Jie Jie for your guidance. Here are the children in action and some pieces of their artwork…

Li-Ann's Chef

Li-Ann's Ballerina

Rebecca's Florist

Rebecca's Dancing Princesses

John's Portrait of Rebecca

John's pencil drawing

* I was ill for a few days. Fever came and went, hubby wasn’t around and I had to ferry the children around for activities.There was this night when I knew I had fever but we had no panadol in the house. I was praying and keeping a wet towel on my face throughout the night, not quite able to sleep well that night. I thank God for sustaining me. Coz the next day, I was fine and I drove the children for their activities again. I was thankful that the children, including LA, were very independent and helped around a lot. John generally could oversee everything. I know I can trust him. Rebecca was concerned and would often asked how I am doing and whether I need this or that. She is so willing to help me cook or take care of LA. So I got her to help cook porridge. LA even played doctor and took my temperature. So sweet of her. And she’s a good doctor 🙂 Hubby was worried about me when he was away and he called to find out how I was and helped me out when he came back. I am thankful for my one big blessing and three little blessings.