Monday, December 21, 2009

Cell group retreat at JB

Posted by Dawn at Monday, December 21, 2009
This morning, we set off to Pulai Springs, JB for a 3 days 2 nights stay with my church cell group for a planning retreat. We first gathered at NTU hostel at around 10am before setting off to Malaysia. I found it interesting that I actually went on a holiday to Malaysia three times within Dec this year since I am not a huge fan of driving into Malaysia and getting caught in the causeway jam. But guess its the most practical choice, considering I have 2 young kids. But we left Danielle and Vicky with my parents as we felt more comfortable just bringing Caleb.

Dropped by at Sutera Mall first for shopping and lunch before checking in.

First impression of the mall- there's hardly anyone around! Unlike the malls in Singapore. And because of that, the kids had so much space running and pushing prams F1 style.

We had lunch at Secret's Recipe.

The food was BAD! It was very slow (maybe because they never had such a crowd for lunch before since there were about 20 of us, but the food also tasted bad! One of the lagsana dish was cold inside! As for the butter rice which I ordered for Caleb, it tasted more like pepper rice!

Even the cream of pumpkin soup that some ordered tasted bad! I tried a spoon and it tasted more like curry sauce! Oh man...Only the desserts were good. I ordered a New York Cheesecake while waiting for my chicken chop, since I was hungry.

We walked around after lunch, did some grocery shopping in Carrefour and spent some time for Caleb to 'play' (without putting in any money) with these machines.

I like these machines here as they were huge! It seemed big enough for 3 children. I know I cant squeeze in the Singapore ones..

Managed to buy a guitar for Caleb at the mall for S$10 since he loves to play guitar and drums!

Checked into hotel at about 4pm, even though we reached at 3pm as we kept waiting and waiting at the lobby for our room! Its frustrating for us since we were still in the Singapore mode- efficient. We had to keep reminding us that we were on holiday in Malaysia.

Here are some pictures of Pulai Springs which we stayed in.

There was another building we had to cross over. It was a sports and recreation building which had restaurants, lounge, fun swimming pool, kids club, library, Karaoke room, movie theatre etc.

I volunteered to be the Food IC for this trip and so, I brought the whole group to Huizu Hot Wok for dinner. I havent been there myself but I read the reviews and it seemed not bad. What was impressive was that it had a website and they even provided the GPS Coordinates for their location! It was useful since everyone of us had GPS in our car. We had fun travelling as all of us were equipped with walkie talkie and the communication with one another during the car trip was fun.

The Hui people is basically a Chinese ethinic Islam group mainly in Northwest China. So the unique flavours of their food can be seen in their food here.

While waiting for the food, I went around taking pictures of our group! Here are some of the kids and their families!

Here is Eunice, the oldest of all among the children. She is 10 years old, coming to 11 years.

Then there is Aaron, the second eldest in the group who is 8 years old. He is being home schooled. Very mature and sensible kid who likes to read.

Here's Dayna who is very photogenic. She is 4 years old.

Here's our cell group leader, Daniel and Rachel who has 3 kids- Eunice, Andrew and the newborn, Matthew. Their family is the DREAM team (Daniel, Rachel, Eunice, Andrew, Matthew)!

Then here's another family with newborn- Wi Sze, Jeannette and baby Denzel. Dayna is also part of their family.

Then there's the wonder family-Christian and Phyllis with 3 of their kids, Aaron, Julia and Elijah who are all being home schooled by their super mummy!

Here's Tony and Koon Eng with their son, Joshua. Tony is a pastoral staff in our church who happens to be in our cell as well!

Then finally, our family! (without Danielle of course)

Caleb was busy playing with the korkors before dinner.

The drink that we ordered was fantastic! I ordered ice blended dragon fruit as well as starfruit juice with sour plum! All so yummy! You must definitely order this if you come to this place to eat!

Here's our dinner! We ordered set menu since it was the easiest to order as they dont speak English at all! Only Malay..

Frankly speaking, I didnt know what I was eating in this dish but it was very tasty and good!

We had veggies, venison, butter prawns (which was sinfully yummy), sharkfins soup, roasted chicken with thai mango sauce, steamed sea bass and fried rice.

Most of the people who went there ordered only staples like fried rice, fried kway teow, fried bee hoon. So I guess that should be their specialty! haha.

I will be back again if I happen to be around this area.

After dinner, according to the programme, we had ladies fellowship. This means that the men had the opportunity to be left all alone with the kids to take care of and to put them to sleep. It was fun since I always enjoy seeing CT step up and take care of the children!

The ladies met up at the lounge where we ordered mocktails, finger food and played "Imaginiff"- a boardgame which I brought.

In the lounge, there was also a decent size movie theatre.

We had loads of fun playing the game as this game allowed us to get to know one another better.

Through this game, I realised that some of the ladies found CT cute with his dimples and blushed face. I also discovered that Rachel is a clean freak! I also found out that Jeannette who does not seem sporty, likes to watch ESPN channel!

We ended at about 11 plus pm and by the time I reached back my hotel room, both CT and Caleb were fast asleep. Caleb was even sleeping in the baby cot! I was amazed at how CT could convince Caleb to go in. In the end, I found out that Caleb, himself, wanted to go in and sleep. He probably found it interesting.

Here's my oversized baby sleeping in the cot!


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