Crazy over you - Tiramisu
After being served with delicious tiramisu at a gathering with some Singapore Shanghai mamas, I have gone crazy over it. I am an adventurous foodie but I do take precaution when it comes to eating some food such as raw eggs . I searched the web for an eggless tiramisu recipe and found the perfect one. Since then, I have been experimenting with various flavours. So far, I have tired the coffee tiramisu, the bacardi tiramisu and the blueberries tiramisu. Verdict : yum-mo!

I am so crazy over you

The only setback about making tiramisu in SH is that the ingredients are all imported goods and it is expensive making it. Cannot wait to head home to try it out where imported goods are not sold at illogical prices. When I head home for Chinese New Year, some of you may just have the chance to be my food critic!
今天在车里看到外面好像有飘来的雪花。一下有, 一下又没了。上海不可能下雪吧。是眼花了吗?在过一会儿,雪花又飘来了。果然真的是上海下雪了!
It is snowing in Shanghai
Today after my indoor cycling , I came out and I thought I saw flurries. They came and they went. Did I see wrongly? Xiao Wu said he didn't see. Well, maybe my eyesight was failing me. Half way through my journey, I saw them again and this time, he said he saw them too. That was about all I was expecting. Last year, we had flurries too. Just a tiny bit, nothing compared to what we have experienced in USA. By noon, it was almost like snow, no more flurries. The whole compound was turned into Macungie. I was so delighted and the kids were jubilant. Remembering their days in US, playing snow balls, snow boarding, skiing...What beautiful memories.

Believe it, this is Shanghai!

The scene just outside our house

Never in my wildest imagination, that Shanghai could be like this

See the heavy snow fall? The kids playing with snow balls
The little terrors

Yes, the four of them!

Men's breakfast

Thank goodness, they left for Beijing for a few days. I can regain my sanity for a while!
Blessed to bless
We have learned in our nomadic life that when we are blessed, we are not to hoard our blessings but to spread them to people who are less privileged than us. The church we are attending in SH, has been helping this migrant school. What are migrant schools? They are schools set up by well-meaning individuals to educate migrants' children. Migrants are people from other parts of China who have come to SH to work, hoping to earn more and have a better life when they return to their hometown. They cannot afford to send their kids to the local schools, in any case, the local schools do not accept them either. Very strange system. All are from the same country but not all are the same. We really ought to be thankful for the SG's system - education is compulsory and all citizens have the same chance of going to school.

These migrant schools usually have just the bare necessities and the kids do not have many things. This year, like many other years, the church is gving the kids Christmas goody bags. No, they are not filled with toys but stationeries, beanies, scarves, shoes, books, dictionaries, moisturisers (much needed for bitter cold weather, it is no joke when your lips cracked!), heat pads...all these are necessities, needs not wants.

DH and I felt that it would be good to expose Kai and Ann to do some voluntary work. It would be an eye opener for them to see that Christmas gifts are not just about Playstation, iPad, Wii games, XBox 360...

Last Saturday morning, the whole family together with many other expat families were out packing the Christmas goody bags for the children.

We were early but the staff was even earlier to make sure that all figures were right so that no child will go without a bag.

After the figures were all correct, we began working...

It was heart-warming to see both Kai and Ann working together. This would be a special kind of learning experience for them. They do not have to be famous philanthropists but they must grow up to be man and woman with compassion.

All the volunteers. Over 100 of us. Among them, were CEOs, CFOs, MDs. VPs and what have you. Titles were not important when helping others but it showed that no matter what position they held, they all had a compassion for the less privileged

Bags all packed. Dh helping them to load onto the truck

Ahhhh, after a hard day's work, time to have a sip of water and for my little bookworm, he just whipped out his 'Horrible Histories' and off to another world

At the end of our mission, I told the kids that we should go into painting and building schools next time *wink*

Yes, Blessed to Bless!

God is indeed good. The weather on that day was beautiful. It was cold but sunny. After that, the bitter cold wind desended upon SH. Brrrr....

Look out for my stories as the "rascals" arrive! (SCREAM...)
Ann is six!
She is six and she is 1/3 into her primary one. She is really growing very fast.

6 years ago...

6 years later

We had the most eventful birthday party ever!

Last Saturday, we had a birthday bash for Ann. As we have been "nomads", Ann has never had a real birthday party with her little friends unlike her brother. So for this year, since we were more settled in SH and she has made a lot of friends, dh and I decided to give her a real birthday party, not just adults but also little boys and girls.

I ordered her cupcakes and she selected the design - princess and knight. Everything was confirmed online and I also called to ensure that the order was received. An email came stating the final price, place of delivery and date and time of delivery.

On that day, I waited and waited and cupcakes! I called the shop and they said they will check and call back. I waited and waited and call. I called them again.....yes, you guessed it, they missed out on my order!

How can a birthday party with no birthday cake. It was almost time for the party to end. SCREAM...... the lady over the phone apologised profusely! She suggested that I take her ready-made cupcakes and she will have it delivered within one hour. All FREE!
True enough, in less than one hour, the last minute cupcakes arrived and there were cakes for everyone and birthday song sung for Ann. She was very disappointed that her princess and knight did not arrive. But at least, she enjoyed her friends' company and her party.

See her disappointed face.

Anyway, in the evening, I called up the shop to thank them for delivering on time and offered to pay 50%, at least to cover their cost. I know to be able to get all the real ingredients here to make such nice cakes, the cost must be high (the cupcakes were the best I have tasted so far,other than my own... ahem). The lady on the phone said that her boss would get in touch with me.

At night, I received an email from the boss and she gave me the 3 dozens of cupcakes free and on top of that, a RMB200 voucher for my next purchase. She asked to be given a second chance. I think there was no need for the voucher as the 3 dozens cupcakes were good enough. I re-ordered the princess and knight again for Ann's actual birthday (24 Nov) and paid full price for them.

The kids having fun with the clown balloonist

The magician, he was very good, very professional. That's a real bird. I had three birds and a bunny in my house that day!

The magician's helper

The guests. The magician was able to capture everyone's attention, adults and kids!

The party spread. Yours truly, single-handedly made them. Now you know why I didn't bake the cupcakes myself.

On the actual day which was yesterday, the princess and knight arrived with some other treats for my little princess! She was most happy!

The princess and the knight and the complete set.

One very happy birthday girl...and very happy papa and koko and an exhausted happy mama...kaput.
All's Well that Ends Well

Thanks to popo, jiu kong and uncle Moses for sending all the birthday gifts to little Ann. She is indeed a blessed child!

My next mission - to attend a cake making and decorating class so that I can at least try to control all unforseen situations!

School events
My advice to all parents out there, no matter how small or big a school event, always try your darnest to be there for your children. Yes, I know it can be boring sometimes and you would rather spend time in your office clearing the never-ending emails. Let me remind you that your presence to your kid's school event is important to them.

The past weeks have been busy attending school functions. First it was Kai's Student Councilor Investiture. Then it was the kids' English Language and Library Week where they dressed up as their favourite book characters. Ann was Miss Frizzle from The Magic School Bus and Kai was the phantom from Phantom of the Opera. He received a prize for the best dressed character from his class! Even the teachers came in their costumes. It was really fun and after that, they had a book and bake sale to raise funds for charity. The even had an auction for books written by the students. The SG school system should adopt some of these activities to make learning more fun.

The phantom!

Miss Frizzle, second from your right

Even the principal designate (they are changing principal next month) dressed up

All the teachers

After the English Language and Library week. Ann had her Games Day. Of course, mummy was there to cheer her and her class came in first!

March in with her class

Can you spot her?

She did a summersault

Much anticipated race. Teachers vs Parents. Hahaha, parents won hands down!

When the time comes for us to go home, what I will miss most will be the school. Kai and Ann love going to school everyday. If a child loves going to school early in the morning, it really speaks volumes of the school and the kind of staff they have!
Mifan Mama
To do a direct translation, it basically means "rice mummies".

Since finding them, I have been a slient supporter to this group. Helping them in whatever way I could. I have yet to travel to the orphanage because I know my emotions will get the better of me. This orphanage was opened by a former businessman. He has a great compassion for these abandon kids. These kids are abandoned mostly because they were born special. Something special about them made their families abandon them. It is indeed sad to know that living beings like them can be discarded like trash. To read more, go to Mifan Mama website. The next time, our kids refused to finish their meals, remind them that there are many out there who have yet to find their meal.

Two weeks ago, they had their concert to raise funds for the orphanage. I personally went down to the founder's home to collect our tickets. There, I met one of the special kids. The founder of Mifan Mama has brought her here to have a heart operation. Just seeing one child, I was choked with emotions. I don't think I could bring myself to visit the orphanage yet. I am such a sentimental emotional freak. I know of a couple of such groups existing and sadly, many are founded and run by foreigners. Am I wrong to say that the advancement is only on the hardware?

Yes, music for hope!
James 1:27 "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress ..."

不久前, 刚过生日。时间不饶人,不得而知, 再过几年, 就五十没得找啦。人生本来就是来去冲冲。回想这几十年也过得很满足。怀老大六个月时,我半工半读半怀孕,把大学给念完。当时,非常艰难, 可是也毕业了。有些朋友说我本。这么辛苦把大学给念完,又把它放弃,在家当全职妈妈,太可惜了。真的可惜吗?我不这么认为。能够自己教自己的孩子是一种辛福。其时,在我身边,也有大律师,放弃了事业在家当全职妈妈呀!

老二生下不久,先生就被裁员。多困难的时期已经过去了。上帝也照顾好我们。无论昨天有多么疑难,也走过来了。人不怕吃苦只怕没有健康。只要还有健康的生体, 有上帝的照顾, 天塌下也把它当禙盖。因此,今后的日子里,我要好好照顾我的健康。我的健康是留给孩子最好的财富。看看老爸,老妈,他们都上了年龄可是都活得健康。那是他们注意好他们的身体。白粥配鱼是他们爱吃的。有时候,一个简单的生活方式是健康的。



One happy family