Monday, November 21, 2011

Bye Vicky

Posted by Dawn at Monday, November 21, 2011 0 comments Links to this post

My helper, Vicky has been around since the birth of Caleb. It has been 4 years and it felt like 6...I felt like she has been with us for a long time as she has established an amazing bond with the children, my family, in-laws, friends and even my neighbours! She has this amazing ability to make friends. Even the lady who cleans my block knows her and tells me how good a helper she is. She has received praise from my neighbours as well..

Frankly speaking, I am thankful to God for her. I still remember the first time when I got her and we sat down and shared about our fears of getting our first maid. She also shared and said she felt it was God's arrangement as she was praying for a good Christian employer when she was stuck in Philippines with almost no money left. We are also thankful for her Christian faith in God and how she brings her friends to church as well and how she teachers my children writing, reading as well as praying.

Without her abilities, I wouldn't be so comfortable to leave her alone with the kids and go out to work. Her heart is also full of compassion and love whenever I see her communicating with my dad for example and always ask about how he is as well as how she would initiate boiling barley or some herbal tea for the family when we are sick.

Most of the time, CT and I would comment why she always make so much noise (as she talks and exclaims quite loudly most of the time) and we also felt she was more worried about our children's safety than us... But on the other hand, these are positive qualities that we failed to see when it takes place.

Her cooking is also amazing.From her popular sweet and sour pork,
to also her filipino dish- macaroni salad which I insisted for her to teach me before she leaves.
Here's the ingredients needed to make the salad. One whole can of Nestle cream, about 2 tablespoons of condensed milk and mayonaise as well as a can of fruits. I also added fresh apples to it for a nice crunch.
I knew I had to take pictures of it, if not I would surely forget. Here's more pictures of her food.
She has to go back this time as she is not getting any younger. Moreover, she needs to get married and start thinking of her own life and family. It wasnt hard to let her go as towards the past few months, we could see her a little more carefree already and we knew that she was too comfortable.
However, once she left, it started to kick in that she is gone and the thought of not getting to see her again does pain me....I hate goodbyes and I will definitely miss her presence and the friendship that we have forged. At the mean time, I will continue to pray for her well-being and her family. Thanks Vicky for your love and help to our family!
Picture taken by Danielle

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Gardens by the Bay Preview

Posted by Dawn at Saturday, November 19, 2011 0 comments Links to this post
One advice I would give people is to always grab whatever opportunity that comes your way. Don't miss it or downplay it as if it will come knocking at your door again. Anyway, being an opportunist, CT suggested bringing the whole family to go for the preview of Gardens by the Bay, which is next to Marina Barrage.
The landscaping of the place is very nice
And huge place for the kids to run about.
There were different racial-themed gardens in the area. Here's the Chinese Garden.
Construction was still ongoing...
The kids had a great time admiring the statues and flowers.
Here's more pictures of the beautiful surroundings..
We crossed the bridge that linked the Gardens to the Marina Bay Sands.
We felt under dressed. But who cares.. We walked around for a bit and to also make use of the air con to cool down.. Here's the orchid named after Sir Elton John being displayed in Marina Bay Sands.
Went into LG shop to catch 3D show together and have some fun in there..
Saw this sign just next to the escalator which I thought it was interesting..for you to ponder..and hopefully, cheer up!
We were all so tired and hungry after all that walking. Had cravings for chicken rice. So we went Maxwell Food Centre for lunch! We were all gobbling down our food..
Had an awesome day!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Cooking Time

Posted by Dawn at Friday, November 18, 2011 1 comments Links to this post
Having been away for a week without my family, I miss home and cooking for them! So, immediately when I returned, I decided to cook for my family the very next day! Here's what I prepared for them...spread over 2 meals. Stewed pork with radish and carrots
Sweet and Sour prawns
French Beans with salted egg
Red Fermented Chicken Wings with taupok (Bought the red fermented paste from the Taipei Wet Market)
My hubby was definitely happy to be fed by me as he was getting sick of my helper's cooking... I do get sense of satisfaction from watching my loved ones enjoy their food.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

My first trip...

Posted by Dawn at Wednesday, November 16, 2011 0 comments Links to this post


Started our Robotics training for Asia Pac Robotics Championship in September.

Training during school: 3pm - 9pm.

Training during weekends and public holidays: 9am - 5pm.

2 weeks break for the students for their final year exams

Continued training right after it ended

Had mostly packet rice for meals in school-bought from coffee shop.

Was I actually prepared for this? A little but it was made even tougher as I had to balance training with my Sec 4 students who were sitting for their Math papers. So most of the time, I had to ask them to come to the robotic room for consultation.

So with all this busyness, plus having to plan for the Taipei trip and handling all the administrative matters regarding the trip, I was overwhelmed...so much so that I wasn't even thinking about the trip. Even on the day itself as I was leaving for the competition, it didnt really sink in that I was actually going for it...All that I have been working hard for has finally arrived but when its here..you are just too tired to think.

Anyway, I was happy to be able to be on my first trip with students for competition. Glad this time round, I am not the one competing. However, I still get nervous as I feel for my students as well. (On the side note, because we didnt have enough students coming along, I had to be in the game as well and assist during the matches. So it was kind of cool to be competing as well together with my students)

For the competition, we won 8 awards in total. No team won so many awards in a competition except ours. So I was really proud of my students. Here's what we got..


#1. The Excellence Award (highest honour for the competition)

#2. The Tournament Finalist (2nd Place)

#3. The Middle School Division Finalist (2nd Place).

#4. Robot Skills Challenge Overall Champion (Overall in Middle school and High School)

#5. Robot Skills Challenge 1st in Middle School

#6. Robot Skills Challenge 2nd in Middle School

#7. Robot Skills Challenge 3rd in Middle School

#8. Programming Skills Challenge 2nd in Middle School

The highlight of this trip was not only being able to compete in the matches but also the amazing bond I had with my students.
I think they all wanted to spend time with me as we had suppers, playing together and watching movie in the hotel room after our competition. It was fun...Reminds me a lot of my swimming days when I went overseas for competition except now, I am playing a different role but I still feel young at heart and thus enjoy, playing and spending time with my students.

One thing that I learnt during this trip about students nowadays are that they are hooked on to IT. They need to feel connected. I know all of this but to actually witness it with my own eyes on it, is different. During our meals, most of them would be playing with their handphones or psp.

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Of course, I am also guilty of it for also trying to be connected as I go down to the hotel lobby and dining area by 630am to serve the wireless connection.

Another thing I learnt is that students nowadays enjoy eating fast food or basically western food. They have really become westernised. They crave for pizzas and macdonalds!

After the competition, we had 2 days of sightseeing. Took the public transport (train and bus)to various places like the Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall,
Taipei 101..the tallest building in the world
We also ate a lot for every meal till I feel like puking!!

You will never go hungry in Taiwan as they have lots of 7 Eleven stores all over. We had one next to our hotel and in there, they have so much variety of instant food and noodles that taste SO NICE!/

Street stalls are also a common sight in Taiwan...

Taiwan has been quite 'Japanised'...a lot of recycling efforts going on (got to pay for your plastic bags, and segregate your left over food and plastic in different bins etc). Even the public transport was quite good, clean and efficient. They had all the timings and info you need for the oncoming bus or train!

I will definitely go back to Taiwan with my family and enjoy the food and the surroundings!
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