Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Cherok Tok Kun @ Bukit Mertajam 21 June 2013

 After a few days in the bustling streets of Penang, we went over to Bukit Mertajam for some tranquility.
As it was a weekday we had the place to ourselves.
 Sand and water play
 Exploring the hill.
The kids made camp, played out stories they created and were in a world of their own.

 A nice tea house by the stream with tables set under shady trees. I thought the place was simply delightful
 I don't think I enjoyed sweet potato as much as I did that day. 

 We had rose tea
  Yam cha!
Then it was back to the jungle

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

And the first prize goes to..... (ICCA Mother's Day Cake Competition 2013)

I loved it and was thrilled to bits when you thanked me, JY :))

Learning points for JY:
  • Certificates have a tendency to disappear. Keeping them with meticulously neat and tidy Papa is a must...that is, if you can find them.
  • Running around looking for lost items at the eleventh hour is never fruitful. Especially at an hour I would rather spend in bed.
  • Always ensure Papa's T5 is in tiptop condition so that you can make PD to Giza in 1 hour, so that your cakes do not get disqualified for being late.
  • Jumping on stage in a short skirt is a tad tricky

    Btw, it was the best Mother's Day ever.

Finicky Fickle Lovable teenage gal

She's back to caking.
Who would have thought.
She swore off caking not too long back when she was faced with disappointment after a nonmaterialised promise from a highly regarded mentor. she didn't know what to do next, neither did I. So she poured her creative energy into others artsy stuff like sketching. She sketched and painted, and never neared a piping bag. Her cake studio was sadly neglected for months.
Until early this year when she suddenly decided to compete in the third ICCA cake competition.
Ummm...didn't you say you would NEVER enter another?
I guess, never doesn't necessarily mean forever to this 15 year old
 Here CheChe try this tip
Meme enjoys wondering around Cheche's room and Cheche is gracious enough to let her mess it up while exploring.
 Roses drying
 Piping bags filled and ready to squirt.
 JY had to dig up her Wilton Method manuals as judging is based on this particular method. The Wilton way isn't particularly difficult. After some show how, Fai can make a perfect Wilton rose and JY is convinced he will be able to pass Wilton 1 with ease.
This time around she can't Wow the judges with her more elaborate flowers. So she has to be creative with these cute little ones.
I love the abundance of flowers on the bottom tier. The white on white of the middle tier. And best of all, the eye-catching MOM right in the centre :)
This cake was completed in a harrowing, nail biting, tense, drama-filled 7 days. It rained , no, more like stormed daily as she was preparing the flowers. Let me tell you something, fondant does not work well in tropical climates. I had to keep my apprehension in check, my emotions at bay and leave her with the opportunity to have a learning experience.
Here's what happened. She completed the cake, packed it up into a box with a cannister of dehumidifier and left her cake behind in PD as she prepared for her graduation ceremony with Amber Chia Academy in KL.
She came back after 2 days, ran to the cake studio only to find that her flowers had wilted under the humidity.
She was inconsolable. she couldn't sleep that night.
But the very next day, she showed that no storm will get her down for long. She redid the wilted flowers and restored the cake.
This cake is just so sweet and pretty.
I didn't see much of her for the 2 days she marooned herself in her studio. She came out occasionally for food, down load more songs onto her phone and she was gone. This cake is all piping and she says she did so much piping in 2 days, the piping bag now feels like a permanent extension of her hands.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

O Levels

JY wanted to enroll into a college and found out that she needed 5 O Level/SPM passes as a prerequisite.
A roadblock! I do so love roadblocks. Makes us stop and think.
JY is at a crossroad now.
She wants to explore her creative side and yet she wants to feed her intellectual mind. She enjoys reading History and Biology as much as working with paints and brushes.
Would having an OLevel cert open up more possibilities for her?
So I asked her "Want to take up the OLevel challenge?"
She said "Why not!"

So the stage was set... next course of action was to get information
1, British Council
There are 2 OLevel exams: IGSCE or GCSE?
As we are not in UK, we have to sit for IGSCE. It costs RM740 per subject and Art is an exorbitant  RM2060

2. Free Exam Papers
 Took a look at what's in store for JY. We had fun attempting the Art paper and lots of laughs with Agriculture paper especially the one on why pants must not be stuffed into rubber boots. It was an eye opener for JY as she couldn't fathom Art being an exam paper and was intrigued at how it was graded.

Next, to shortlist the subjects she wanted to sit for.
Besides English, she surprised me by saying she would be taking German as well. German? Since when? Well, according to her she was inspired by Tokio Hotel and LaFee as well as makeup artists who narrate in German and Polish. Dankeschön, YouTube!
She has started teaching the boys German too. As she wants someone she can communicate in German with. So from now on she will be speaking to Meme in German.
Today's lesson was numbers 1-100...eins zwei drei......

She was always into Horrible Science and reading a biology textbook we bought on MVDoulus (the floating bookshop) so Biology was a natural choice. I am trying to coerce her into taking Chemistry.

She dislikes Maths. But while University Bookstore in Sec14, I showed her an example of a Maths problem and she couldn't beleive it was THAT simple! She has had an imagined fear of mathematics all along. Now to get her to conquer it.
I am trying hard to persuade her that Add Maths is an even nicer subject :) I loved Add Maths, I loved the simplicity and beauty of it and how everything works out in the end.

Art is an exam!!! Art can be graded?!! That was her initial reaction. Her father is more than happy to coach her in this subject.

English Literature:
Still thinking about this one.

JY has 1 year to prepare for the exam. The countdown begins.......

Ean and Dinosaurs

Does every kid go through a dinosaur phase? I know all of mine did. Now it's Ean's turn to go dino-crazy.
It started off when he insisted on watching 'Sea Monsters' daily. Then we got him another DVD from the Walking with Dinosaurs series.
Meat-eaters vs Plant-eaters.
Ean would line up the plant-eaters, ready to launch an attack on the meat-eaters.
The meat-eaters would always be the villians and would never be able to defeat the plant-eaters who would relentlessly cripple the sharp-tooths with either their spiked, whip or club tails.
Dino puzzle
I thought it would be a good idea to take him to the dinosaur exhibit at the National Science Centre. But once again I assumed wrongly. Han refused to enter the exhibition hall the moment he saw the black drapes he had to walk through. "Scary!" he said.
 I managed to coax him in but Han managed to get the boys' spooked.
Ean was eager at first but the sight of his brother's ashen face and the eerie growls emitted by the dimly lit robotic dinosaurs, soon got all 3 boys clinging to me for dear life.
JY coaxed the boys to release their stranglehold on me. She held their hands and told me "They have cold clammy hands, Mom"
Han and Fai looked around to ensure the dinosaurs did not make any sudden movements.
It was more House of Horrors than an educational dino exhibit.
Nice bones. If only they were real.
DH took the brood  to Dinoland in Gentings a few days later while I had a breather and caught a movie with Meme. The boys said it was better than the dinosaurs in Science Centre and they weren't nearly as terrified this time around.
I'm glad they had a good time with their father .
I had a good time too, watching Spidey in 3D while Meme snoozed in my arms :)

Friday, August 17, 2012

Fai on 2 wheels

Fai was happy to cycle with his training wheels until one of it fell off. It must be the saltier sea air here in PD, door knobs get rusty, cars get cranky and training wheels just plop off.
Well, JY told him that it was time to start learning to cycle his bicycle. He didn't agree to it right away. His bicycle was left abandoned for months until one fine day JY said to him "Fai let's go cycling but first you have to learn how to cycle"
Fai replied "OK!"
He was rather wobbly in the beginning. He was lopsided, leaning too far to one side and his sister taught him how to straighten out by turning the handles to the other side. He fell lots of times, but got up and went back on undetered.
And in one hour, yup, just ONE hour Fai was cycling his bicycle.
He was one proud boy.
JY was rather proud of herself too.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Instead of toys - Pipes!

I have been thinking hard on what sort of materials to get the boys without having to splurge on toys. How about PVC pipes and an assortment of joints? Sturdy, made from good quality plastic, should allow lots of room for creative play, get the boys exposed to plumbing and I can always use the materials for home repairs.
 I said to them "Here these are for you. Do as you like"
Han's water blaster
Water fountain
I will need to modify the lengths of the pipes, perhaps make all of them at an equal length of 1 foot  as I noticed that pipes in various lengths made it difficult to create certain designs that they thought of such as loops and ladders.
And I would definitely need to get more pipes as they ran out of pipes in minutes.