Tuesday, September 30, 2008

BOOK REVIEWS

I've read quite a number of books when I was young...starting with Nancy Drew, Famous Five, Hardy Boys. I've always loved thrillers and mysteries. When i grew older, I was introduced to Danielle Steele, the romantic novelist and later to Sydney Sheldon for more mystery stories.

Then I was introduced to Mary Higgins Clark. The mystery thriller author. Her stories kept me fixed on the story and I can finish a novel quite fast.

But none that made a real impact until I read these 2 books that Harith brought to my attention.

Harith is an avid reader. He found them in the library and borrowed them and asked me if I wanted to read them.


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The Penny...written by Joyce Meyer talks about the life of this little girl, Jenny Blake, who after picking up a penny from the ground, things around her started to change.

It's not a magic / fantasy / fairytale story. It's about Jenny meeting people in your life, particularly Miss Shaw {jewellery store owner with a quiet past that nobody knew}. At the same time showing the struggles she had with her father who physically abused her and her sister.

I think it's a story reflecting the truth about Joyce Meyer who was also physically abused by her father. How finally she was able to forgive what her father did, made a bold move with her sister and mother and learning the past about Miss Shaw.

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The Shack. What I thought was a true story is actually a fiction, although the writer put himself in as a friend of the main character. The characters, the plot, so real.

Harith came home one day with this new book from the library. He gave it to me and said..."this story looks interesting."

So I took it and started reading...and I have never cried so much in my life just reading a fiction novel and The Shack did just that!

The story...about Mack {Mackenzie} whose daughter {Missy} was kidnapped and murdered while they were out camping. Her body was not found but a bloody red dress worn by Missy was found in the shack.

Then one day, Mack mysteriously received a note in his mailbox from Papa {a name used by his wife referring to Abba Father, God} to meet him at the shack.

So...a journey back to the shack led him to a meeting with Papa, Jesus and Sarayu {Holy Spirit}.

The book continued to show the Trinity showing the real relationship they can have with Mack and everyone else who believe. I cried because of the sheer frustration Mack had, feeling guilty about Missy's death and not able to do anything. The Great Sadness {as he called it} weighed upon him for many years. How he found God again and how he had to forgive the murderer and how his relationship was built up again with Papa.

What struck me was a conversation Mack had with Jesus one night. Jesus said to him, "you call me Lord and King...but you have not allowed me to be that in your life." {not exact words}. That phrase pulled a chord in my heart. It's so true in my life. I have always praised Jesus as Lord and King but every thing I do...most of them are in my own accord.

This book has awoken me...on how slowly...Mack, on building relationship with Papa opened up the final truth.

It so reflect what I went through with Jonathan. How it took me so many years to finally say..."Lord, I forgive the doctor, I want to move on." As I read the book...I longed for that closeness Mack had with Papa, Jesus and Sarayu.

They are here everyday ... every second ... every hour of our lives. All we need is just talk to him like a close friend....reflect on his Word...that's how we know what he wants to tell us.

The Shack is the book that will remain edged in my heart.

Thanks Abba...for leading Harith to this book.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

EXPRESSIVE JONATHAN

Jonathan is always a very happy and expressive boy. Sometimes when he sings or speaks, his face will be so expressive it's really a joy to watch. these pictures were taken when he was probably 3 or 4 years old.

I didn't put dates in my pictures {cos I don't like that} so that is a bummer when I need to know how old he was when the pictures were taken. These are retaken with my Sony camera cos I don't have a scanner {when I get a scanner I'll reload them)...but still...the pictures speak a thousand words. So precious....






Saturday, September 27, 2008

BUG BITES

For a while, when Jonathan was still using the light green color foam mattress, his back had alot of bug bites. It's not just one bit on one spot. But the whole patch.

Initially we thought that it was the mozzies. So we put mozzie patches near him, wiped his foam mat with dettol but still, the bite marks were there. I felt so "sayang".

This happened for a week or 2. He will usually roll over to the floor and lie there but we didn't realised that he was rolling away from the foam mat.

It didn't occur to us it was the foam mat. They are big pieces of foam, joined together like a big jigsaw puzzle. finally, we decided to get his mat changed cos it was already worn out.

Thank God we did. We bought this new mattress {below} from Mini Toon at Tampines Mall. Made in Korea, it feels cooler when you lie on it and Jonathan likes it too. It's lightweight and looks very durable.

And yes.....the bug bites stopped.


MOM AND ME

I seldom take pictures with mom. Maybe because I don't bring my camera along when I visit her or always forget when she comes over for lunch.

This is an unglam shot of me together with my "ever-beautiful-smooth-complexion" mom.

I love her!

BTW, this picture was taken by Kevin...who was shaking cos he did not want to drop my new camera! LOL! ;-)


PHOTOGRAPHY TIP

Met Penny for dinner last night. It was good. Enjoyed her company and had lots of laughs.

Penny is an avid turning professional photographer. Has a photography expedition coming up with Nauman {a USA Professional Photographer} and is here for Singapore's F1 Race.

Told her about my digi camera that has wide-angle facility and the wide-face pictures that I take when I go close-up.

She said the trick to remove this is instead of going closeup, we should go in a distance and zoom in. That way, we still get a close-up and the face doesn't look like there's a bubble in front of the face.

So I gave it a try:

Picture {below} of Jonathan was taken close up. About 10 cm away. Notice that his face looks stretched.



This picture {below} was taken when I stood up straight and zoom into Jonathan. See...it looks normal! Thanks Penny for the great tip! More questions coming your way...LOL!

Friday, September 26, 2008

ONE OF DAD'S FAVOURITE POSES

This was taken while we were still staying at our semi-detached house @ Jalan Chempaka Puteh. I think it was taken on 9 Dec 2000.

My dad loved to hang one of his legs over the stair rails. I dont know why. But I enjoy seeing it. He will do that while watching us practise dancing, singing or playing in the hall.

I miss him!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

HAVING FUN WITH MY CAMERA

Having fun with my new Sony Cybershot 10.1mp digital camera. These pictures were taken at lunch on the day we went to Dad's niche.

Amos {below} saw me zooming in on him and wanted to give me a nice smile...but...I caught him before he could do that. LOL! I was seated like 2/half meters away from him. My camera has a 5x optical zoom and it still turned out good.



Then...Kimberly {below} with Ruel {Amos' little brother} told me she could hold the camera with one hand and take pictures of herself or with anybody she poses with. Well...I didn't tell her that the camera has wide-angle function and...ermmm...see how it turned out? Kim is a pretty young SMU undergraduate. The wide-angle doesn't do her justice! Even Ruel's face looks a little off-figure! LOL! If she sees this picture, she will want me to take if off my blog! LOL!

VOLUNTEERS ~ HAIR CUTTING SESSION

I have to feature them. They are 2 ladies who give up their free time to give free hair-cuts to the students of Spastic Children's Association School. Jonathan used to get hair cuts for them but since I have started volunteering to co-ordinate the line-up of the students, it has become my "off-day" from Jon. H watches over Jon at home while I help. My job: make sure the line up is orderly and also sweep the hair that falls on the floor after each cut.

The hair-cutting session is on every last Wednesday of each month, except the June and December holidays. They hold the hair-cut session at the backstage changing room in our school hall. We go from class to class for students whose parents gave their consent for the hair-cut.

Jasmine and Maggie are the regular hair-dressers. They are actually professional hair-dressers who are very fun loving people. Their love for the children {despite the un-washed hair, oily hair, saliva drooling, heads full of dandruff or sores} are shown so clearly. They don't care what condition the children are in and their main aim is to provide very nice and neat hair-cuts for our children because most of them cannot go to any salons.

Once when I thought the hair-cut for one child was enough because we needed to rush, they told me simply "No...when we cut, we do our best. We don't want to just "anyhow" cut. They must look nice"

That's their professionalism. I am like that when I'm doing my work. To them, it's no fooling around...do your best and make the children look great.

I admire them...I truly do. They have been doing this service to our children for many years. They come around 9.30am. First batch of 30 plus students in the morning. Break for lunch and continue wth the afternoon session. All in, they stand and cut for more than 60 students.

Why do the children get free hair-cutting service? Most of them are on wheelchairs. Then...there are children who react badly to hair-cuts that they struggle, cry or kick people and have to be held down to have their hair cut. So you can imagine what Jasmine and Maggie go through each month.

Yesterday, they decided that I should start learning how to cut children's hair as well. So....with the simplest hair cut style (the GI cut), they gave me the shaver and taught me how to do it.
The boy who was my "specimen" was Rafii who is the greatest and bestest child ever! He sat there, let me cut his hair with me saying as I cut "Thank you Rafi"...to the amusement of Jasmine and Maggie. It was a precious lesson for me. So next time when I'm able to, I'll help them cut the GI cuts. But they will do the tidying up. That will at least free them from the shortage of time.

Next was Zakaria. He wasn't sure if he wanted me to cut his hair. But when Jasmine and Maggie told him that they charge a fee, he immediately say "Aunty, you cut my hair!" LOL! that was really funny. But it was a good experience.

If there is anyone out there reading this blog, the school does need more capes/apron for the children while they are having their hair cut. We need more than 40 pieces of capes because when each child drools on the capes when they get their hair-cut, the smell is unbearable and it cannot be used for another child. Most of the capes we are currently using are already old because of the constant washing after each hair-cutting day.

We need donation of capes that cost more than $10 a piece. Also, the hair-dressers, who use their own equipment, have to pay for parts of their shavers if they break down. If there is anyone out there who is willing to donate some money so that we can replace the blades whenever they break down, please contact SCAS at 65855634.

Here are the 2 special ladies:


This is Maggie...who is cutting Kheng Tiong's hair {below}


Jasmine with Piravin {below}

Sunday, September 21, 2008

REMEMBERING DAD TODAY

My dad went home to the Lord on 21 September 2003. Five years exactly today...also a Sunday. He breathed his last that day at Mt Elizabeth ICU between 9.45pm and 10pm. All his children were with him, surrounding him.

Now, he's in glory enjoying himself!

We went to dad's niche today at All Saint's @ Hougang. Every year, my sister Leanne will buy silk flowers to lay them at the little garden. This year...we put yellow and white daisies and I helped her arrange them into a flat bed of flowers.

Larry said a short prayer to thank the Lord for dad and also for mom. After that, mom spoke to dad. She told him to watch over his children in their work and business; and also the grandchildren as they grow.

We all miss dad alot...I'm sure he knows that too...



This card (below) was done by my nephews and nieces
with short messages to dad from his children.
It's still in good condition even after 5 years.

The marble tablet at the niche. This photo was taken when dad
was pretty young, probably in his early 50s.
Dad's name "Tan Jin Choon" was used when he came to Singapore
from China. His alias is Tan Chiang Ngee.

Dad's niche with the little garden in front.

The flat flower bed we arranged.

My 大哥{eldest brother, in grey behind mum who's seated} saying a short prayer.

Friday, September 19, 2008

ZIG 2-WAY GLUE PEN


I'm relatively new to scrapbooking tools and equipment. But when I found this Zig 2-way glue pen. I just had to buy it. It got it from a local scrapbooking store here but you can get them from Scrap-n-Crop {Link here}.

It's actually like a marker pen except that it's glue instead of ink. They come in different tips sizes. This one I have has a tip that is the same size as a whiteboard marker. But it does wonders especially when you have a thin strip of paper 5mm thick to apply glue on.

Using stick or liquid glue will be messy and wasteful because you have to lay your 5mm strip of paper on a backup paper and smear the glue over the strip and then find it hard to peel to paste it on your project.

With the Zig 2-way glue, you just have to "draw" on the 5mm strip as if you are drawing a line. It comes out bluish in color but when dried, it's clear. It sticks like strong tack glue without the mess. I've enjoyed using this glue pen for my tiny pieces of cut-outs.

Try it! You won't regret it.

MISSING SCHOOL

I've been missing school. Not on purpose. But that the medication I'm taking is really changing my lifestyle a little. Body aches that last half a day and sometimes giddiness. Then there's this thing about stomach aches.

I've changed the medication already and still trying to get used to the current one. I wake up in the morning and feel really tired and no motivation to go to school.

I should go back next week. The little prince is enjoying too much holiday! :)

I'm planning to change his curriculum in school. Next year probably we'll go to another programme that would be easier on him and...especially me!

I've prayed and seen what Abba Father has shown me. I'm peaceful about it and I'm sure Jonathan will welcome the change {not having to do homework anymore! LOL!}.

I'm sure we will work out something that will benefit him and still let him learn.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

WONDERFULLY MADE ~ LAYOUT

Just completed this layout. Looks like a little too blue :) But I"m happy how it turned out.
Credit for photograph: SEAN LEE {local professional photographer} who took this picture to use it for the promotional poster for MY SON, JONATHAN {documentary}.
TFL!

Materials used:
1) Cardstock
2) DCWV Mini Scalloped Cardstock {White}
3) DCWV Glitter pattern paper {Circles} below the scalloped cardstock
4) IOD Paintables by Prima Marketing Inc
5) Ribbon from Prints International
6) Buttons {Autumn Leaves}
7) DCWV Alphabet Stack Glitter Paper {Swirl}
8) Gel Pens to color words on Paintables Paper and outlined scalloped cardstock




Wednesday, September 10, 2008

MY SON, JONATHAN {A DOCUMENTARY} PART 2

The 2nd part of the documentary...

Note...all the children with Jonathan in the classroom setting are his classmates. One of them has already left SCAS last year to a mainstream school. Another one has moved to a class for students above 12 years old.

video

MY SON, JONATHAN {A DOCUMENTARY} PART 1

Finally...unscripted, unrehearsed and lots of retakes { on my part ;) }...this document was filmed in 2006 when Jonathan was 9 years old.

This is part one of the 18 minute documentary that was shown on national television in November 2006. Before the documentary I included trailers and video clips promoting the documentary.

Enjoy...

video

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

FLU TO WHO?

H had flu and it got passed to Jonathan. Full blown on Saturday afternoon after mom and Kevin left.

It was tiring...for him and myself. He couldn't sleep for the last 3 days before. Stayed awake until around 2am. Got scolding from me for not sleeping. Sometimes when I'm already tired, him being awake and refusing to sleep makes me angry. But I forget that these are signs to show me that he was beginning to be unwell.

So it lasted until Saturday. He had dark rings under his eyes. Thank God I replenished his medication on Friday night. Knocked on the clinic's door because they were already closed for the day although the doctor was still around.

The staff there know us so they were very kind to open the door.

I'm thankful to God that Jonathan always receive quick recovery. That Saturday night, after heavy dose of medication, he slept. That stopped all the coughing and dried up the mucus. But last night, because his nose was blocked, he woke up 4 times. I couldn't sleep till 4am this morning. So we skipped school.

God is good to give him instant healing. He was happy today and refusing to nap in the afternoon, now sleeping well...and it helped that it rained and the weather is cool...

THANK YOU JESUS ;-)

Friday, September 05, 2008

A SLAPPING SILENCE

Ok. I'm not a very good disciplinarian. I wouldn't want to lay my hands on a child with special needs.

So Jonathan has not have any major big spanking from us.

But....it changed one day. He tested my tolerance. The time when I was very busy and unable to do alot for him {it's always "mummy...change video clips!"}. After coaxing him many times, he decided that to get mummy's attention was to roll over to the high stools and start kicking them.

THAT'S IT!!! I went over, turn him side-ways and gave him a big tight slap on the thigh. My hand mark lasted for a while.

That quietened him. He had a shock and was obedient after that.

Spare the rod and spoil the child....I'm not ready for the cane yet. Because...I know he doesn't deserve that {yet}. Because...he always needs our help to perform tasks for him.

I noticed that sometimes, if I speak to him in a really..really nice tone, he will be more obedient and do as I say. But there are times when I just don't have the time to sit and sweet talk him! LOL!

But Jonathan on the whole is a good-natured boy. Lord....let him speak words quickly so that there will not be misunderstandings between the 2 of us!

HE WANTS TO COMFORT YOU BY MAX LUCADO

Another article from Max Lucado that touches my heart....

My child’s feelings are hurt. I tell her she’s special. My child is injured. I do whatever it takes to make her feel better.

My child is afraid. I won’t go to sleep until she is secure.

I’m not a hero. I’m not a superstar. I’m not unusual. I’m a parent. When a child hurts, a parent does what comes naturally. He helps.

And after I help, I don’t charge a fee. I don’t ask for a favor in return. When my child cries, I don’t tell her to buck up, act tough, and keep a stiff upper lip. Nor do I consult a list and ask her why she is still scraping the same elbow or waking me up again.

I’m not a prophet, nor the son of one, but something tells me that in the whole scheme of things the tender moments described above are infinitely more valuable than anything I do in front of a computer screen or congregation. Something tells me that the moments of comfort I give my child are a small price to pay for the joy of someday seeing my daughter do for her daughter what her dad did for her.

Moments of comfort from a parent. As a father, I can tell you they are the sweetest moments in my day. They come naturally. They come willingly. They come joyfully.

If all of that is true, if I know that one of the privileges of fatherhood is to comfort a child, then why am I so reluctant to let my heavenly Father comfort me?

Why do I think he wouldn’t want to hear about my problems? (“They are puny compared to people starving in India.”)

Why do I think he is too busy for me? (“He’s got a whole universe to worry about.”)

Why do I think he’s tired of hearing the same old stuff?

Why do I think he groans when he sees me coming?

Why do I think he consults his list when I ask for forgiveness and asks, “Don’t you think you’re going to the well a few too many times on this one?”

Why do I think I have to speak a holy language around him that I don’t speak with anyone else?

Why do I not take him seriously when he questions, “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:11)

Why don’t I let my Father do for me what I am more than willing to do for my own children?

I’m learning, though. Being a parent is better than a course on theology. Being a father is teaching me that when I am criticized, injured, or afraid, there is a Father who is ready to comfort me. There is a Father who will hold me until I’m better, help me until I can live with the hurt, and who won’t go to sleep when I’m afraid of waking up and seeing the dark.

Ever. And that’s enough.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

JESUS LOVES JON ~ NEW LAYOUT

What have I been doing? Just doing another layout. Ignoring the house chores! LOL!

Well...H has been a good help recently. Not that I take advantage of the situation. I took 4 days to finish this because I don't sit down and do it all at one go. After doing the tags for Teacher's Day...and...since the materials are still within reach, I took them out and did this layout.

I've been wanting to use the new gel pens that my 二姐 (2nd sister) gave me when she came to Singapore. So when I found this pattern paper given to me by Michelle Ku, I thought it was a great piece to practise my doodling. It looks like a disaster but I'm getting there! ;-)


Materials used:

  1. Urgan Lil Pattern Paper {Happy}
  2. Autumn Leaves Buttons
  3. Red Wool Yarn {around photo}
  4. Green Rik-rak Ribbon {around photo}
  5. Gelwriter Sx Gel Pens for journaling and doodling
  6. Alphabet beads {Jonathan's name}