Sunday, January 22, 2012

Astrology - what an insight!

The alignment of stars determined by the time, date and place of your birth told me more about myself than anything else. It was comforting knowing that I behave and think the way I do because it was meant to be.
At times I had felt uncomfortable following the social norm and felt strangely cheated when I followed through something that I knew didn't feel right and was forced into.

I am glad I have been following my intuition lately and getting validation felt extremely good.

I have never been into astrology before.
Reading horoscopes was interesting but was more for the lack of reading materials back when books were scarce and the newspaper was the only printed material around.

I was introduced to astrology by a hs mom who had taken a course in it and said that it had helped her 'decipher' her relationship with her kids and hubby. Knowing their charts enabled her to understand their temperament and character and with that in hand, she went on to forging better relationships and building a closer family unit by knowing what to say and how to treat them.
I was intrigued.
At the same time, DH was at a career crossroad and when all logical avenues failed to help, we seek higher help.

From that one reading, it has helped me feel more at ease with myself. And knowing that I could easily achieve my destiny just by following through my gut feelings was inspiring.

In a nutshell, I need to be illogical.
Hubby needs to be back to nature and is multitalented.
And kids in no particular is filial and will look after his parents, one has healing touch, another should go into non-profit organisations and one will travel far and wide and prosper there.

Reading up on the whys and possible personality traits from the Astrology textbook was very interesting. Especially when the events described actually took place. Knowing why the event unfolded as it did was simply mindblowing.

I will be going to hound my astrologer for another look at her books soon.

We're Going on a Bear Hunt

Whenever I have to wait for DH, I end up in a bookshop and spend my time there browsing through books with the kids.
I read this book to Ean on one such occasion.
Many months later, Ean started chanting " ...we can't go over it, we can't go under it, we've got to go through it.."
I couldn't believe my ears, I read that book perhaps 3x on that one day, ages ago and he could recite the catchy rhyme. Word for word.
I had to get the book for myself.
The very next day, one member of the homeschooling network posted the book up for sale.
What luck!
The book is mine :)
I met up with the wonderful mommy during the Gardenia visit and she refused to accept payment. Oh what generosity!
Thank you, thank you **hugs**

Gardenia Factory

While staring dreamily at a loaf of bread one day, JY muttered "I would like to see the cooling tower of bread in Gardenia again"
So with a phone call to Gardenia to set up a date, posting the event up on the homeschooling network's facebook page and getting a few enthusiastic families to join in, we were set!
I had my homeschooling family for company that day.
After watching a video on bread making, we were ushered into the factory with a stern warning "No stepping over the yellow line. Do not touch the glass panels"
*To this day, my boys will repeat "Do not go over the yellow line!" whenever they see a yellow line.
The smell as we stepped inside was heavenly and the huge tower of revolving freshly baked bread was a sight to behold.
Each step of the process was labelled alphabetically and easy to follow through. We watched as huge vats of dough were kneaded, cut and plopped into baking tins before being baked in a huge oven. I couldn't take my eyes off the many loaves of bread as it swirled around the cooling tower.
Cooled bread was then sliced, bagged and tagged mechanically.
Rejected bread is packed in an unlabelled bag separately for donation to Zoo Negara.
Snack time
Waffles and coffee was served. Followed by a Q&A session.

Goodie bag time. Gardenia was really generous giving each and everyone of us a loaf of Butterscotch bread, waffles and kaya. Thank you Gardenia.

For more information on how to organize a factory visit, call Gardenia.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Child Led - Conquering Fear

A kept muttering "I must face my fear, I must face my fear...." as he made his way across the hanging bridge.
No one coerced him into it. He just decided to get up there and conquer his fear one step at a time.
He proudly proclaimed "I was scared but I faced my fear!!" the moment he was on solid ground.

KH on the other hand was not ready to take the challenge of crossing the bridge and when he was forced by a grownup, he clung on to her shirt with his eyes tightly shut and had a harrowing time up there.

"Forcing a child to do something that he is not capable of doing - or should not be doing - at his present developmental age will always backfire. Expecting one's child to fit into a certain situation because other children appear to fit in is unrealistic. Each child develops at his own rate, and each child has his own best style of learning" ..An excerpt from a homeschooling site

To love a child means to treat him or her with respect, patience, gentleness and compassion, and in a way that is consistent with the Golden Rule. Tough love is tough, all right, but it has nothing to do with love....The Natural Child Project

I think children learn better when they learn what they want to learn when they want to learn it, and how they want to learn it, learning for their own curiosity and not at somebody else's order. ....An excerpt from John Holt's book The Underachieving School

PD with A and KH

It was school holidays and we had KH and A over for a couple of days.
Here are a few of the activities that kept the boys occupied.
The Army Museum - great for imaginative play with real tanks and missile launchers
Slip N Slide in the garden
Hermit Crab hunting at night
Bury treasure by the beach
Look for snails among the rocks
Rock Climbing
Source for firewood and dried leaves, start a fire with matches and newspaper and keeping the flames alive
Making Stone Soup in a sardine can found by the beach
Learn the art of launching stones

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Museum Tentera Darat @ Port Dickson

One of our top spots to take visitors.

During school holidays, booths are set up and an assortment of army vehicles and weapons are put on display. Visitors get to handle firearms under the watchful eye of the army personnel.

Showing the boys how dangerous it can be.

Bomb retrieval robot. Latest model.

Older model

Staircase to underground communist tunnel.

Hanging bridge and lookout tower

The boys got to get inside the humvee. It was so spacious.

Counting bullets.

Being shown how to load the gun.

I can see you!
Binoculars with amazing clarity. Too bad it can't be sold to the public.

Map reading.
The soldier was so willing to share his knowledge.

DH was very preoccupied.

Ean said these were train tracks

The boys discussing the possibility that there is a man hiding inside the camouflage outfit as it moved each time the fan blew in its direction

Ean's fascination with trains

The only one of my boys who is into trains. After years of transforming robots and kungfu moves, it is a welcome change.
Totally absorbed
He built his own steam works to repair his steam engines
The train at the Army Museum in Port Dickson

Boys looking for the engine's firebox

Ean examining the tracks and the placement of wheels on the rails.
He is always asking what the railway sleepers are for.
Ean would always get his engines to 'couple up'. At the museum he got to see a real coupler.

He now wants to go on a train ride.
While browsing through a Picture Atlas with the boys, Ean's attention was grabbed by the Trans Siberian Railway and he has asked his Papa to purchase tickets from Moscow to Vladivostok.

Ean: I want to go on this train
DH: Ok, sure but how long do you think you can sit in a train
Ean (ignoring the question) : and get a ticket for Joseph and Joshua (his friends)
DH: How about we go to Bangkok by train instead?
Ean, by then, lost interest in his Papa and bounded off to play with his brothers.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Natural History Museum @Putrajaya

I had a difficult time locating this museum. Why must there be two Precinct 15s in Putrajaya?
After driving around in circles in the wrong part of Precinct 15 and a few frantic calls to the museum to ask for directions, I finally made it there.

Parking was easy enough. 4 vacant lots awaited us beside the building. The exterior of the museum was made up of lovely exposed red bricks . Looked promising from the outside.

The Mystery of the Crocodiles exhibit was on the 1st floor. It was rather disappointing with a few stuffed crocodiles. The boys were more interested in the BBC documentary being shown on hippopotamuses

The kids went Wow! when they saw the Bryde's whale skeleton

This elephant skull was interesting. If you peek at its lower and upper jaw, you can see its huge teeth.