30 November 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness | Day 30

I am thankful for productive days.
Installed a doorbell, moi. (Who’d have thought?!).
Baked some sour cream choc chip muffins.
Worked with Josh to finish all the Chinese characters he needed to learn
for his dictation test next Monday.

I am also thankful for a good friend with whom to share the muffins.
I’m thankful for the chance to just chill and chat with my friend
while our kids played.

{Thankful, too, to learn about different essential oils.}


I made it! Well, sort of. I did journal at least one thing I’m thankful each for each day during the whole month of November. It’s just that I wasn’t able to do up a blog post every day and lumped some days together. Nonetheless… yay, me!

Happy weekend!

29 November 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness | Day 29

Last year when Josh first started having weekly Chinese dictation tests in school, it was agony.  For him and for me.  He could speak Putonghua (Mandarin) passably well, but he absolutely hates writing the characters.  He is overwhelmed by having to remember so many characters,  the number of strokes.  He didn’t like that I make him do the characters in the correct stroke order.  Why do I have to do the proper stroke order when the final outcome is the same?!


So far, this school year, he hasn’t had any dictation tests yet.  Well, the first one is next Monday.  Instead of the 10-15 characters per week that he used to get, this time around, he has more than double that.

We broke them down to about 12 characters a day that he has to master. He gets ‘tested’ on them every day. The next day, he will get tested on the new batch plus the batch that he has already learned… and so on.  He’s been doing quite well and he’s more than two thirds of the way through.

Because he is now more used to doing the basic strokes and he knows the radicals, new characters do not appear quite as daunting to him as they would have last year.  He is much quicker with learning the characters this time around.  Not to say that he doesn’t complain about having to write them, but it’s been easier for him… and for me, too.

I am thankful that we stuck with practicing the strokes and writing the characters.
Despite my own grumblings when I was learning Chinese, I am thankful that I persevered.
Not that I had any choice, really; but I am really glad, nonetheless.

There is something beautiful and poetic in each stroke and each character tells a story.
I am hoping that Josh will come to appreciate this, too, one day.  Soon.

28 November 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness | Day 28

Do you believe in Santa?

My kids still do.

Even Josh, who’s seven, almost eight.


Josh got a video message from Santa today and it was just magical to see how he was answering Santa’s questions and nodding his head to things that Santa was saying to him.




For all you mommies out there, check out Santa’s Portable North Pole (PNP).  The look on your children’s faces as Santa greets them by name, knows what grade they’re in, how old they are, where they live, etc. is absolutely priceless.


Today I am thankful for the magic of Santa.

27 November 2012

Continuing on with my font play…
(Otherwise known as she-didn’t-pick-up-the-camera-all-weekend!)

for teaching Josh things that are totally beyond me now.
(Font:  Janda Quirkygirl)

26 November 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness | Days 25–26

I love playing with different fonts.
I especially love handwriting fonts.

Day 25
(Cocktail Script)
I am thankful for their help.

Day 26
(Calvin & Hobbes)
AppsI am thankful that I can chat easily (and for free!) with friends overseas.

23 November 2012

Oh my, I am seriously playing catch-up, aren’t it?  It first started with me lumping two days together; now I’m up to three.  Yikes.

Day 22
(This is the path we take going to the library.)
I am thankful that the library is only one block away from us.
I am thankful for how efficient our library system is. 

Day 23
Josh:  You are the best mommy!
Me:  Hahaha!  You only have one mommy.
Josh:  Well, I know lots of other mommies and you are the best.
I am thankful for the best son.

Day 24
I am thankful for the patience that Josh has when teaching Zoë… tricks, lessons, whatever.  He has a way of breaking things down and explaining concepts to her in a way that she easily grasps.  Zoë comes away from these ‘lessons’ with Josh with a smile on her face, because she finally ‘gets’ the trick/s.  She is so blessed to have Josh for a big brother.the long road

21 November 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness | Day 21

Christmas will soon be here,  You know how I know that?  The kids remind me about it often.  We finally have our tree out.  Because the kids kept asking and asking.  This year, I take no credit at all for decorating the tree.  It was all Josh and Zoë.

They took it upon themselves to put together a Christmas wish list.  When they presented it to me, I could barely bite back outright laughter.  Here is their list…


As I was reading through the list, Zoë came over and added a few more items to her side of the list (additional items starting from the hula hoop...)  When I expressed disbelief at the long list, they were both quick to assure us that we don’t have to get them everything on their list.  Whew.

An iPhone?  An iPad?  Chris and I have neither.  A new computer… and apparently it has to be a real one, as opposed to the pink plastic Vtech laptop that she already has .  Seriously?  You can bet this list is going to saved and included in their “to-be-shared-when-you-are-a-parent-yourself” pile.

Today I am thankful for innocence.

20 November 2012

I am thankful for time.
Time to spend with the children.
Time to spend playing Scramble with Friends.
Time to sort out the huge pile of books.


We have too many things and once in a while we need to purge.
I am thankful for recycling.
I am thankful for purging.

What are you thankful for?

19 November 2012

There are many, many things in my life that I am grateful for, but none more than my family.   The pride from past achievements, the highs from thrilling adventures don’t compare to the sense of completeness I feel when I am around them.  Many of the other things that I am thankful for are ultimately linked back to my gratefulness for these three special people in my life.

(Day 18 of 30 Days of Thankfulness:  Chris is home!)




They make me laugh.  They give me little pockets of joy –every day.  Sometimes they make me want to tear my hair out in frustration.  They don’t let me take myself too seriously.  They ground me, yet they also lift me up.  They make me laugh.  (It bears mentioning again.)   They make my heart swell with love.

The Creativity Project is a monthly blog circle with a new theme each month.  This month’s theme is Gratitude.  Please do visit Sharon (The Covert Lens) to see what she is thankful for.  You will get a prompt from Sharon on whom to visit next.  Do hop along to all the ladies in the group and say hi.  We’d also love for you to share with us what you are thankful for on our Facebook page.

18 November 2012

Scavenger Hunt Sunday | Vision

1.  Vision – Yesterday, when we were out, we kept hearing sweet chirping, but we knew that it couldn’t have come from the little brown birds that we commonly see around.  I finally spotted the bird that was making those sweet sounds.  It took a few “Where, Mommy?  I don’t see it!” before the kids could finally make it out from amongst the tree branches and leaves.


2.  Strong – This was how strong the last typhoon (hurricane) was.  It uprooted some of the trees we have along the promenade.


3.  Button – This was a last-minute shot for the prompt.  I didn’t know what to shoot…


4.  Map – From one of the kids’ sticker books.


5.  Favorite Fruit – I haven’t gone to buy a watermelon yet, so this photo from the archives will just have to do.  I’m lucky that we pretty much have watermelons all year round.  It’s just that after summer, the prices go way up.


17 November 2012

I am thankful that homework got done Fri night.
The weekend is now homework-free.


I am thankful for the seaside promenade downstairs.
I love that the kids could run and play there.
I love that it’s not very busy.
I love that I can take pictures there.


15 November 2012

Mommy, maybe you shouldn’t be eating too much of these

(crunchy, garlicky salted green peas). You know… your voice?

Today I am thankful for these words of concern from my son.

My sweet boy.

I love him something fierce.



(Josh making a blueberry banana smoothie)


I’ve been under the weather this past week. I’m on the mend now, but haven’t quite recovered my voice. It still sounds a bit raspy and sexy. I’m not complaining.

the long road

14 November 2012

This was how I found them tonight at bedtime.
They’d found a photo album of Josh’s baby pictures.
Zoë kept asking, “Was I already in your tummy in these pictures?”


Today I am thankful for super sweet moments like this.

Little by Little

13 November 2012

After dinner, Josh announced, “Hey, let’s play Spin the Bottle.”  I asked him if he knows how it’s played and where he heard about it.   Josh told me that he read about it in a book and that you spin a bottle and you kiss whomever the bottle’s pointing to.  Innocent enough.


I figured it would be interesting to see how it would play out.  This could be cute, I thought.  I scooted off my chair and down onto the floor next to him.  Zoë, never one to be left out, joined us, of course.  Josh grabbed a pen and said that we would have to make do and spin that instead.  Okay.

I’d lost count of how many rounds we played; there were only the three of us.  Suffice it to say, though, that there were LOTS of kisses going around.  Zoë, ever generous, gives a kiss and a hug whenever it’s her turn to kiss.   The game ended with both of them somehow on my lap; I had my arms around each one of them and we’re all hugging and kissing and giggling.

Such a simple, simple game and it brought smiles and warm fuzzy feelings all around.  

Today I am thankful for hugs and kisses from my two kiddies.

12 November 2012

I help out at both of my children’s classes once a week.  The first graders are adorable in a first-grader kind of way.  Some of them look so little in their school uniforms, like they’re playing dress-up.   Whenever I see them with their way-too-big backpacks, I can’t help but smile.

The third-graders (Josh’s class) are a different matter.  They don’t exactly have the same cuteness as the first-graders, the type of cuteness that makes you go Awww!  Some of them can be quite sassy, some of them can even be rude.  Most of them are sensible kids, though.   What had me smiling these past two weeks when I was helping out in Josh’s class, though, were a couple of girls in the groups I worked with.

Last week, I was sitting at a table with a small group –boys and girls, –and I was explaining what we were going to do, when apropos of nothing, this girl next to me said, “Mrs. X, I love your ring.” 

I worked with a different group today.  While I was going around checking on their work, one girl piped up, “Your necklace is so pretty!  It matches your earrings.”  Leave it to girls to take notice of jewellery.

Today I am thankful for girly girliness.
I am also thankful for the opportunity to help out at my kids’ classes.

11 November 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness | Day 11

I am thankful for the simple joys.
Zoë dancing on an empty stage.
Making her dress twirl.
Her dress, that my mom made for her.


10 November 2012

I am thankful for friends who love word games as much as I do.

I am thankful for boredom busters.

08 November 2012

Many of you know that I would rather be behind the camera than in front of it.  I still feel the same way.  But my Zoë loves being behind the camera as much as she loves being in front of it.  Here is one that she took of me with the phone.  Sepia processing?  Her choice.  She is so much more familiar with the phone camera than I am!


Today I am thankful that Zoë shares my love for taking pictures.

07 November 2012

I am thankful for a warm and cozy bed.
I am thankful for relaxing, easy bedtime reading.


I am thankful for kiddies who know our phone numbers by heart,
who feel no hesitation whatsoever calling us whenever they feel like it
and sharing something that just couldn’t wait until we get home.

I have a field trip (next week).
I got invited to a party (three weeks from now).
What can I do so that I can watch Glee (on a non-TV day)?
When are you coming home?

06 November 2012

I am thankful for choices.
I am thankful for places like Sham Shui Po
where I can get a wide variety of fabrics at amazing prices.


05 November 2012

30 Days of Thankfulness | Day 5

I am thankful for stencil fun.
I am thankful for kiddie art.
I am thankful for sweetness that absolutely melts the heart.


Zoë told us that she meant to write “Thanks for looking",” but she ran out of space, so she stopped at “look.”

04 November 2012

1.  Wild – I wasn’t sure what I was going to have for this prompt, but I never thought that I would have a cake, but when I saw it, it just seemed perfect.  I mean, really, how wild is this?!  My friend made this from scratch for her daughter’s birthday party today.  She did all the yummy cupcakes, too.  All from scratch. 


2.  Welcome – This signpost was what greeted us near one of the side entrances to Victoria Park.  Perfect for what Josh and his class was trying to learn more about during their field trip earlier this week:  an inquiry into orientation in place and time.  They had to navigate their way around the park with the help of a map, interview someone and find out their strategies for getting back on track if they get lost, etc.  Their summative assessment at the end of the unit includes their drawing a map of a neighbourhood around their school to help delivery people find their way to a particular destination around the neighbourhood.


3.  Adventure – Doesn’t it look like they’re off on an adventure?


4.  Vibrant – Here’s another look at the cake, when they lit up the candles and the sparkler.  One little 5-year old girl sure is going to bed with a huge smile on her face tonight!


5.  Classic – This smile?  Is classic Zoë.

Today I am thankful for the joy this one has brought to our lives.
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