Check this out, it is so fun... Jibjab

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

As you know, the great firewall blocks off many sites and one of them is the Facebook. To get into it, I will need a virtual private network (VPN). So, I don't really go in often. Only when time permits, I will have a look and it is important to check in once a while cos' there are many friends in there who post very essential things and not just small talks.

I saw one of my many old friends in there. She posted her  children's achievements and I was very touched. You see, they are not the ordinary parents who sent their kids to numerous classes to excel. Her husband is a preacher and she is his assistant. They have three kids. The eldest just ORD (term used to mean, one has finished his National Service) as a commando. Imagine, I carried this boy when he was only a baby. All three of them are very accomplished young adults. Their daughter made good short films of which, one was selected to be  featured overseas. Husband and wife travelled extensively for speaking engagements yet three kids grew up to be fine young people.

Even among my friends, some of the most educated, most well-off, their kids received the most elaborate education, didn't even come close to any of these three kids.

What I am trying to say is that…sometimes, the best we can give to our kids is really to leave them to bloom under the guidance of God. Something, I am learning to do each day.
Ann-gelina, Ballerina
She took it very seriously and I hope she will continue to be serious with it
Make it special

When you think of pasta, the usual ones will be Spaghetti and Lasagna. Once a while, I like to make them interesting and the kids and spouse really love them.
These are Mezze Maniche (Man-e-kay) means short sleeves as in short sleeves of a shirt. (

Very easy, just stuff your favourite meat sauce into them. If you like, sprinkle some shredded mozzarella and bake for five minutes.

"each dish becomes a creative expression of the heart, filled with kindness, compassion and love" no matter how elaborate or simple it may be. "Cooking a meal is a gift you give to someone including yourself." (Untangling My Chopsticks - Victoria Abbott Riccardi)
Boys at work

The kids love the Ghibli Studio animations. They now have the full collection of all the movies except for a couple of them. When Kai saw a shop selling their jigsaw puzzle, he wanted to buy one to try doing it. Together with his papa, they started to work on it.

I must say that the spouse has a very efficient way of solving puzzles. He first helped Kai to gather all the pieces of the same colour and started working on them by colours. It was an excellent way of doing it. They had it done up in a few days.
The boys' finished work. They really felt very good about it.
Always be vigilant

Received this in my email today…when the great divide is getting greater, anything can happen.

Security Alert Top
There has been another security alert issued this time by Concordia School which, again, is in Jinqiao, Pudong. It also concerns the apparent attempted abduction of students in the street. The police have already been contacted and it is unlikely that this was a misunderstanding. Please read the following email sent out to parents. It is recommended that parents remind children of safety practices when outside the home. And also that Ayis and Drivers are informed so that they too can help keep our neighbourhoods safer.

Dear Parents,
We wanted to make you aware of a report received by the school today involving students in our neighborhood and the response from Concordia.
Sunday evening two students were walking on Mingyue Road near the Royal Garden complex. A white, 4-door vehicle pulled up and a man jumped out and tried to grab two high school aged students. Fortunately, the students were able to get away and with their parent’s assistance have been working with the Public Security Bureau (PSB).

I will of course update you if I receive any further information and again remind you and your families to remain vigilant.

Mr. Paul Friend




Each time when such news are released to the foreigners, you usually have two very instinct group of people talking. One group, I call them the 'act-tough-hero' who will say things like, "nothing to worry about, everywhere you go, everywhere you live, there are sure to have cases like this". Another group will be the 'super-extreme-paranoids' who will worry and fear for every movement they take.

I wouldn't take it lightly. In fact, I never did. Every piece of news I received, I take it seriously but I will not allow it to mess up my life. Life still has to go on, kids still need to go to school, the spouse still needs to work and I still need to cook but I stay vigilant at all times. Although I have a helper and company's transport, I still make sure I fetch and pick the kids up myself. There is no proxy when it comes to the welfare of my children especially in a foreign land.