Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Reflections @ 35

I'm 35 today. Thirty-five years young.
At milestones like this, I like to pause and reflect. Every so often, it's very necessary for one to look back before one can look ahead.
As I look back and look at where I am and what I am today, I feel an overwhelming sense of thankfulness and gratitude to my Almighty God.

I am thankful...
...for life itself. Every morning I thank God I am alive!

...for health - that which we take for granted until it's lost.

...for family - a most wonderful husband, three beautiful children, parents, in-laws...

...for friends.

...for my job. Though I am an almost-full-time homemaker, I am very thankful for my very understanding boss who has been my role model since varsity days.
So I ask myself... Since I am already so blessed and lack nothing, is there anything else I want?
I would be lying if I said, "nothing" because there will always be things we want. It is only human to want. Materially, I would like to travel. New Zealand ranks highly on my "must visit" places. I have yet to see snow. I've never been on a cruise nor a helicopter. So would be nice to travel with my family because experiences and memories are priceless.
Apart from that, I dare say there's nothing material I want. I don't want a bigger, grander house. I don't want a more luxurious car. I don't own nor want a Coach, LV nor the likes (and for the life of me cannot understand why it's such a novelty since every other makcik and ah soh carries one these days).

But one thing I do truly desire is this - a closer walk with my Lord. I want to grow my faith in Him - to trust God and see Him work wonders and miracles in our lives to His glory and for His honor.

Celebrating 35 years

Happy Birthday to me...Happy birthday to me...
Happy Birthday to me-eeeeeeeeeeee.....
Happy BIrthday to me!!

If it was a wedding annversary, I would be celebrating the coral anniversary.

35 years is a milestone. I'm halfway to three score and ten.

I woke up this morning to many many birthday wishes on facebook and this lovely touching poem written by my dear husband.

"Today is my darling wife’s birthday
Twenty-five she turns, forever she will stay
So beautiful she is, in so many ways
A wife, mother and daughter, so worthy of praise

Rising up before the sun
Priscilla Chan she is the one
To prepare breakfast for daughters and son
To fulfil this she gives up her fun

Her talents abound increasing daily
Craft and art came so naturally
Sewing came next helping save money
Dresses, car seat covers, bibs, just some of many

Cutting our hair she learnt by trying
On me, it looked like a rat had been biting
Now the art she’s slowly perfecting
Including some simple hair tattooing

Cooking and baking she’s also been learning
Through trial and error and experimenting
Thankfully no lizards nor bugs nor other strange being
And medically, we’re all still surviving

All day long in the kitchen slaving
Meals for children and adults preparing
Doing all these without complaining
Evidence of a heart so truly loving

A bargain, a good deal, will never escape her eye
Some call it kiasu, I call it wise
Researching intensely she gets the best buy
To help our money go many more miles

My wife is superwife and supermum
Managing the household she gets everything done
Sounds like the woman in Proverbs 31
Except that servant girls she has none

Through it all she hasn’t aged a bit
I’m still attracted to her like a fly to shit
After 10 years and having 3 kids
On my lap she still can sit

I thank God for moulding her life
To sugar and spice but surely not lice
Lovingly carrying out her duties as mother and wife
Often involving quite a sacrifice

Many more times we’ll share laughter and tears
Together go through life facing hopes and fears
More beautiful she’ll grow every year
I thank God for my wife so dear"

So sweet, huh? I admit - I did shed a tear or two.

After sending Joe and Joy to school, Darling and I had lunch at Favola@Le Meridien KL.

Very atas kind of place. Too atas for us - we were so blur-sotong when the waitress asked if we wanted distilled water or sparkling water.
complimentary bread with dips
We shared a beef lasagna (made with chunks of wagyu beef)... certainly not your average pizza hut kind of lasagna.
...and a venetian pizza which was rather kiap siap with the toppings.

Surprisingly, we were really full by then. We came home for a much-needed afternoon nap.

In the evening, we had dinner at another porky place. Yeah, you would have figured by now that we like all things pork.

Joseph loved the pigs in blanket and carbonara pasta with bacon. He loves bacon! And to think that at one time he would dig out the lap cheong from fried rice.

Darling and I shared the pork chop...
...and the pork burger. It was very juicy!

Back home, we did the customary cake-cutting with a tiramisu compliments of Le Meridien KL (with our Starwood complimentary cake voucher).

Friday, January 25, 2013

Very cheap bibs

I can't help it.
I really am so proud of myself.
I made bibs!!!

True to my thrifty nature, I made "something out of nothing" as my dear husband always said (though usually in a sarcastic tone).
Isabel's bibs were all very grossly dirty and the plastic backing were all torn. They were not even fit for wiping the floor. But I just couldn't bring myself to pay like RM10 for a tiny piece of cloth that is meant to get all dirty.
So I dug out the scraps of waterproof fabric that I had. (Sometime ago I bought several yards of waterproof fabric that was heavily discounted from the Swadlebees Clearance Store and a friend lugged it back from USA for me. I used this to make car seat covers for our at-that-time-new car.)
Since this fabric does not fray, I did not bother to sew. All I did was to cut out a tear-drop shape where the neck should go, sewed a button on one side and cut a slit on the other side for the button hole. It took me under 10 minutes to get 4 bibs. Yay!!!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

A Porky Public Holiday

We checked out another porky restaurant today. It was a public holiday and our cell of 12 adults and 5 kids feasted on all things pork at Ribs@Oasis in Bandar Utama.
Pork Knuckle

Pigs in blanket
Baby Back Ribs
Reverse Burger - bun sandwiched between 2 patties.
Spaghetti Carbonara - pork of course!
I liked the Pigs in Blanket and Baby Back Ribs best. We used vouchers worth RM400 (for which we paid a mere RM133) and still had to top up the balance of about RM120. Very very good deal!
After lunch, they brought out a cake for January birthday girls.
Which reminds me.... mid-30s is almost officially here.

Monday, January 21, 2013

New school

So Joy has finally started in kindy at the 'ripe old age' of 5 years. We delayed her a year because there was too many adjustments last year with Joseph in primary 1 and Isabel as a new born. So Joy got 'sacrificed'.
In spite of being a new student, she is not disadvantaged. Her teacher commented that she is "very confident".
She comes home everyday like a reporter, telling me what songs she learned, what lessons were taught, which kid was naughty, which kid was absent etc etc. She knows the names of all her classmates and can tell me exactly who sits at which coloured table and next to who. Just today she said that there was a new girl called Esther who transferred from the morning session.
I sure think she's adjusted very well to school. Primary 1 should be a breeze!

A Royal Rainbow Affair - Joy-Anne turns 5 in style!

My princess no.1 turned 5 last Friday. Five years!!! And I can still clearly remember the day I gave birth to her. We did the customary celebration in school for her on Thursday 17th January. It was a very simple jelly cake.
On her actual birthday, she had even simpler, very tiny cake. We had explained to her that because we had cellgroup, we couldn't do a big celebration. She was understanding and had no complains. In fact, she was very excited anticipating all the aunties and uncles arrival sing "happy birthday" to her.
Then on Sunday 20th January, we had a proper party for her. At her request, it was a Rainbow Princess Party - to the best of my ability.
I bought fairy tutus and tiaras and made star wands for all the girls. The boys got bubble swords and a rainbow pencil.
Aunty Su Yin kindly helped with the food labels.
This was the most popular food item that night - Ah Mah's homemade siew pau.
While I bought most of the other food, I did cook one item - pasta.
The cake - we had a Oreo Crunch Mille Crepe from Vanilla Cakes. This is currently Joy's favourite.
Apart from a couple of games, I set up this Royal Rainbow throne....
All the princesses had a turn on the throne to take a picture. Here's my princess with her presents.
And this is the princess with her prince.
After the party, Joy came up to me and said, "Thank you mum for the party. I'm very happy today". Blessed Birthday Joy...we pray you will grow up to know Jesus, love Him...serve Him...and walk with Him faithfully all the days of your life.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Reflection of 2012

November is for celebrations. December is for reflection.

If there is just one word to summarize my 2012, that word is 'family'.

2012 will be remembered as the year we spent plenty of time together as a family, with family and growing as a family.

My side of the family didn't all gather together because of geographical reasons even though most of us did a few times. My parents, brother & family and sister & family got together in the USA in May. Back here, gatherings for family celebrations were without my sister and family. We also welcomed a new niece.

Over on the Tan side, we ALL got together a record of 3 times in 2012 for Chinese New Year, Ah Kong's birthday in June and again for holiday in December.
Here's a month by month highlight.
January - Chinese New Year in Seremban

February - I went back to work.


March - we went to Yong Peng for a out-of-city break.

April - Joseph turned 7!

May - we went to Penang for a family holiday.
June - the Tan Family got together for Ah Kong's birthday.


July - a trying time for me as Isabel totally rejects milk from the bottle.

August - we went on a 1-night getaway to Westin KL. It was my first night away from Isabel.
September - another trip back to Seremban

October - a good friend got married. I found it absolutely hilarious that this very entertaining, know-it-all, can-sing, can-dance groom also did the mc-ing by himself. He announced his own arrival at the dinner!!!

November - our quadruple celebrations!

December - Joy got the chance to be a very pretty flower girl at our PMC counselee's wedding.

As a family of 5, we have grown closer together and become more independent. I now tell people that when I had just one kid, we needed 3 adults to bring one kid out e.g. to see a doctor. Now I can comfortable bring all 3 kids out to the park on my own.
Joseph has grown a lot physically, mentally and emotionally. His mandarin has improved more in one year than mine did in many many years. He takes very good care of his sisters and is a great help around the house.
Joy has grown taller and thinner though she is still no where near skinny. She's just absolutely 'tu tu ho'! (just nice in hokkien) She loves bling bling and has a maturity beyond her years. I have to keep reminding her that external beauty must be preceeded by internal beauty - with Jesus in her heart.
Isabel walked before the end of the year. She is a very contented and happy baby. She loves to pull Joseph's spectacles and dig my nose. And after 13 long months ...I think she is finally starting to sleep through the night. She still wakes to cry but I don't feed her between about 10pm to 7am.
2013 is going to be no less exciting than 2012. Be Prepared....!!!