25 June 2014

Bringing Back the ‘Old’

There was a time when children were content to play with marbles and little plastic toys.
There was a time when ‘toys’ did not have buttons or switches.
When ‘toys’ were not electronic.


That was the time before apps.
Before iPads and other electronic tablets.
Before cell phones and Wii.
Does anyone remember
how much fun we had?


18 June 2014

Almost There…

A week and a bit more to go and school is officially over and summer (for us) begins!  Josh and Zoë are excited about seeing their cousins and spending time with them again this summer –camping, berry-picking, swimming, hanging around.  Basically, just having a 3-week non-stop play date.

They are also excited about moving up another grade. Josh will be in Year 5 and Zoë will be in Year 3.  They will be meeting their new teachers and classmates today.  I am just as excited to find out who their new teachers will be.  So far, both Josh and Zoë love school and are learning heaps.  I just pray that whoever they get for the next school year will continue to nurture their love for learning and joy for going to school, that the teachers’ teaching styles will match well with Josh’s and Zoë’s learning styles.  I love their school and I love the teachers that they’ve had so far, but a little prayer that we get the optimum match won’t hurt.


I have come to believe that a great teacher is a great artist and that there are as few as there are any other great artists. Teaching might even be the greatest of the arts since the medium is the human mind and spirit.
~John Steinbeck


11 June 2014


I am not a big fan of visiting temples, but once in a while I come across ones that fascinate me.  I like the ones with lots of burning candles and lit lanterns and burning incense (as opposed to simply ones with statues and flowers).  These are the ones that makes the temple feel more ‘alive’ for me. Like it’s not simply a structure housing items of worship, but almost like a sanctuary where people come to seek solace, to commune with the spirits.  (I might be wrong about this, but that is what it seems like to me.)

This one below was taken at the Man Mo Temple along Hollywood Road.  It seems full of life, probably in part because many tourists also visit to check it out.


10 June 2014

{This is an old blog post from about four years ago (!), but I thought it suited this month's theme perfectly.  What's more, this is one of my favorite posts ever and paints an accurate picture of what a darling little rascal our little girl is.  I will post some of the pics that I'd originally taken for this month's theme on our Facebook page instead.}

One fine day, a little girl went walking in the park with her family. 


They had a picnic of dragon fruits,


clementines, bananas, pears, peanut butter sandwiches, and strawberry Oreos.

Their daddy chilled.


The little girl and her brother ran around.  They took turns on the scooter. 


They played at the playground.


It was a really fun day.
When it was time to go home, the little girl felt sad… and a bit mad.
She did not want to leave.  She still wanted to play.
She went boneless.


She slumped against a trash bin.


She sulked.


The sight of this sweet and sorry-looking little girl made me stop
and ask, “Little girl, do you want to come home and live with us?” 
She looked up.  A small smile crept across her face. 

{She loves games of pretend.}

I asked her what her name was.
She said, “Zoë. But you can call me Rascal.”  {Indeed!}
And so it came that we brought home one Rascal Girl {her words!}. 
A little rascal that has turned out to be a rather sweet little girl, the sweetest little girl there is.


Even when she throws a tantrum.

05 June 2014

These pictures you see here below?  They were deleted from my SD card by nosy little fingers playing with my camera.  These ones and quite a number of other photos along with them.  I was very upset, but Zoë was really apologetic.  I had to keep reminding myself to breathe.

As soon as we got home from Macau, I was online searching for ways to somehow recover the deleted pictures and found the Pandora Recovery Wizard (free download here).  I installed it, followed the instructions, and ran the program.  Very straightforward.  Lo and behold, the deleted pictures were all there!  I managed to recover them, but a few of the retrieved files were corrupted, but I am grateful nonetheless for the rest that have ‘survived.’ 

According to the article I read, as long as you hadn’t taken any new pictures after the photos had been deleted, you should be able to retrieve the deleted files.  The problem, though, was that I didn’t know that the pics had been deleted (because somebody-who-shall-not-be-named didn’t want to get into trouble) and I had continued taking more photos.  I was really worried that the program wouldn’t be able to help at all.  Not only were my recently deleted photos all there, even the ones that had been deleted months and years ago were there, too (in case I’d wanted to retrieve those, too)!

I’m hoping that none of you would have to go through an “Oh no!” moment like mine, but if you do, know that there is a way to recover deleted pictures.





04 June 2014

The House of Dancing Water

We took advantage of the long weekend to make a trip to Macau to watch The House of Dancing Water with the kids and my mother-in-law.  The tickets we got placed us five rows from the stage –near enough to get a very good view, but just far away enough that we do not get wet.

I didn’t really know what to expect beyond ‘an amazing show that involves water,’ but it was so much more.  Part of what made the show so incredible is its stage.  It’s alternately a ‘normal’ stage (on which the performance took place) and a pool (into which divers dove from way up high in the rafters and where whole sets got slowly submerged!).  The pool apparently holds “a record-breaking 3.7 million gallons of water, equivalent to five Olympic-sized swimming pools.”

The sound was a bit loud and Zoë had her hands over her ears for a good part of the show, but we all absolutely enjoyed it.  Everybody was oohing and ahh-ing over the stunts and the performances –some aerial acrobatics, some diving from ridiculous heights, several motorcycles crisscrossing each other in mid-air (Josh thought that was the coolest bit of the show), a contortionist, some ballet…  All these seemingly unrelated bits were all somehow blended together into a seamless flow.


The princess dancing around gracefully on the water’s surface…

Rain was heavily pelting down as the ‘house’ slowly submerged…

A ghost pirate ship, with the pirates diving off at different heights, in coordinated sequence…
If you ever find yourself in Hong Kong, make the short trip to Macau and watch the show.  So worth it!
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