edlina & the lynns
I enjoy making breakfast for mommy,
She said the food was very yummy.
That made my heart very happy,
So I made her some more coffee.

edlina & the lynns
Poh Sim had a week of celebrating her birthday. We were thinking where to take this dear friend out for dinner last evening...threw a few suggestions but as usual, being Penangites, food is a much delibrated thought. Then Ash and Nat protested strongly of eating out. "Let's just stay home and cook..." they suggested. "Ok.." No problem. We set out for grocery shopping and had our menu planned in just a few minutes.
Their self-initiated memory verse is from Colossians 3:23, "Work hard and cheerfully at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people" has proven to be very effective in this area of serving. We were also studying on the lion and the beaver. So they are an interesting pair. Ash is the "lion" who loves being in charge and Nat, the "beaver" works hard. Mum became the kitchen helper who did odd jobs :) Chrisa, the "otter" never got tired running in and out the kitchen offering her help eagerly.

Ash prepared the mashed potato and Nat cooked her fave delicacy - chicken cheese delite; which came to be through her routine helping in the kitchen recently...she experimented one day seasoning the chicken with bbq sauce, lots of black pepper and paprika and adding on cheese...it turned out to be soooooo delicious that whenever she is to cook chicken, that will be her dish! With those, we had variety of fresh vegetables with balsamic dressing. Our usual popular style is buffet when we have guests. Simple. But these girls wanted to have a proper seated meal...picked up from their Aussie friends. Influenced by the Tasmanians...their much-loved Uncle Bob and Aunty Annette who treated us with authentic Aussie food - lots of spuds and desserts and completed with coffee/tea. Everything just the way they learnt except we served on japanese tables and seated on the floor so everyone fits in comfortably. East meets West.

Little Chrisa runs to and fro trying to help too. We, adults seated and waited to be served. This acts of service - a gift to Poh who turns a year wiser. As for mummy, didn't have any gift for the birthday girl...only the cost of my patience as kitchen helper. Water splashed everywhere when Chrisa peeled and washed the lettuce. Paprika bottle dropped while Nat was shaking it sending the herbs all over the floor. The over excitement of the kids was quite overwhelming for mum, the kitchen helper! But it's ok...all the mess was seasoned with love. I remembered Colossians 3:23 and I smiled to myself.
Thanks to Chrisa's angel from PJ, Choon Ean for the added laughter that night. We even had a list of words with "po" in it to describe the birthday girl. We started off with words like "po-ssibility, potential,...and ended up having a hilarious time with words like possum and hippopotamus. We had the grace to end the list with only the same number of words as her age.
Special note to Christina (if you are reading this), hmm...you need not have your own kids to enjoy the blessing. Blessings overflows to you...if you will only park Ziggy safely and come to town :)

Happy Birthday, Poh...God's blessings to you from edlina's nest!

edlina & the lynns
This serving breakfast business is a hit now at home. From serving mummy, then mum and dad...kids had taken it to granny's...they stayed over at Ah Ma's home on Monday night, so they begged Ah Ma to be served the following morning. Ah Ma always get her laundry done at 6am and she cannot tolerate undone laundry. It is her MUST do in her list. However, Ah Ma is always accommodating especially towards her grandkids. So she agreed to their pleas but Kong Kong is very meticulous and cannot bear mess...so how can they get to serve "breaky"??

This remains a secret to Kong Kong. The girls pretended to snooze. The moment he stepped out the house for work, Ash and Nat jumped off the bed and busied themselves in the kitchen to prepare "breaky" for Ah Ma, Koo Koo and Ee Ee. The older generation was beaming with joy and delight. The young were elated they succeeded in their plan to serve.

Now they came up with a breakfast roster for the family - Mon and Thur will be kids serving "breaky". Anything that's self-motivated will be easier accomplished. I am glad they came up with this rather than been forced to follow a roster. I never fancy drawing a duty roster for house chores. I believed in initiative and community spirit whereby all contribute at home to get the place in order; and with cheerful hearts. Like any homeschool mum, I tried duty roster for a while but found it too rigid for our family...too bound by "whose duty?" However, this child-initiated effort is to be commended. Hm, now Mon and Thur I am "forced" to stay in bed till breaky is ready. What a blessing?!

Service does require deliberate effort to want to bless. It does requires the recipient to freely receive the blessing too. I was reminded of the story of Jesus washing the disciples' feet. Humility from both ends.
edlina & the lynns
Oh, mom said...my sister and I are going to have our Gymrama test. So we got everything we need....but we do not have our leotards. We went to the shops to find but they did not have it. Finally we went to town today and I prayed to GOD. I said,"HELP, JESUS". We went in and we....FINALLY FOUND IT! Thank you Lord.

edlina & the lynns
Today I had even better breakfast. Ash and Nat woke up early again and got the food laid out for the family. We had grilled sausages with our bread! They are becoming more efficient and elaborate in their menu.

Penny walked into the house; clocking into office (based at my home) with envy. She exclaimed, "I want kids too. So I can have breakfast prepared." Unfortunately, she forgot that there's years of hard work in training before one can sit down and enjoy the sausages!
edlina & the lynns
Jon Scieszka wrote an interesting children's book entitled, "Math Curse". The content of the book kicked off with a boy waking up in the morning and running through the day confronted with math problems - one after another. In summary, it was to reinforce the inevitable escape of math in life. Whether you like it or not, you got to work it out...and the book ended with "no problem."

Ash and Nat are both very intelligent, creative and lively children. But...they have one problem. They are not particularly crazy about math no matter how vital it is. They have no problems understanding the concepts but the real "doing" is a chore. It just got worse the last year. Math Curse was purchased to help them see the importance of math in life. Hmm, but deep down I can fully understand how dreadful it is to go through the tortures of numbers. Oh, how I remember those days as a nine-year old, my tears streamed down trying so hard to do my homework on "pecahan" (fractions). Felt as though my head was going to "pecah".

Ash decided she was going to do her math assignment at night as the past few attempts at night seemed to be more pleasant. It is something about the timing of the day. I agreed to her request. As long as she will be less frustrated, I am happy. That's the beauty of homeschooling.

It turned out tonight to be a dissapointment. She was equally frustrated - with herself. She retired to bed with tears. We talked, prayed and cuddled. It wasn't as easy as it was. She tried hard to go to sleep. In frustration, she sat up in tears. In empathy, I assured her with lots of practice and patience, she will do well - just like mummy. I told her my not so good experience in math; but determination paid off. Through the years I still got an "A".

I dropped the book I was reading, and called her into my room so I can sing her to sleep. Perhaps the soothing voice of a mum will do some wonders. After a few songs, she said, "I usually go to sleep with the vision of roads paved with gold in heaven. Now I only see numbers!"

I suggested she ease her mind by reading. Something she loves to do. Instantly she reached for a Saddleback Club book and snuggled between mum and dad. All three of us enjoying our own good read on the bed. I nudged her and reminded her that "the not so good thing" can become a blessing as Romans 8:28 says, "...in all things God works for the good for those who love him". After about an hour, she slipped down to her pillow, gave me a smile and slept.
edlina & the lynns
The horse craze hit the kids since the Australian trip. They rode horses. They talked about horses. They watched Saddle Club. They didn't finish with horses...

After trying to complete their travel log and easing into some homeschool routine, we resumed our regular trips to the public library. To my surprise they were still hunting for books on horses. The joy when they found those books was unbelievable. Soon I was helping them out devouring into the shelves and grabbing every book we can get hold on horses. We were reading everything we can find about the animal. This delight-directed study took up 6 weeks of study and research by the kids themselves and led to a horse presentation entitled, "And a horse walk in it..."

I thought it was a brilliant title. It was hand-printed on the tickets they sold us for the show. Cost RM 1.00 but I misplaced mine so had to purchase a new ticket for RM 1.50 on the actual presentation day! The audience was only confined to a very mini faithful supporters - Dad, Mum and Ee Ee. Ash was open to a larger audience but Nat insisted "no". I can understand the reserved Nat. We had to pay for 2 tickets each - one to each presenter. Hmm, so much for young entrepreneurs. They had check-in counter with cash register. Audience were served drinks while we were treated to a splendid show of a western mood...presenting the "cowgirls"...
The cowgirls, fully attired with the display of their research and study materials - simple story book, classic and chapter books, science book and journals, encyclopedias; and art projects - creative sketches, sock puppet, felt horse, and hobby horse which Chrisa rode in at the opening of the show demonstrating the movement of walk, trot, canter and gallop.
The cowgirls took turn to present their discoveries...horse facts, stories, history, poem and etc.
Special presentation by Chrisa - dramatic retelling of "Clarence Meets the Purple Horse". Then there was a slide presentation of their own adventures of Gunnamatta rides in Victoria.

The sky is the limit when the kids engaged in purposeful and delighted study. Thumbs up to the Lynns for a marvellous presentation! It definitely worth more than a ringgit and fifty cents :) or in my case RM 2.50 for misplacing the ticket (and I found the lost ticket the next day). No, no...the kids didn't put up a trick. Purely my own negligence.

"And A Horse Walk in It" shall be a lasting impression.
edlina & the lynns
The night ended with Ash and Nat telling me to sleep in - the next morning. Hmm, isn't that nice to hear and seems rare when one has kids...and to hear it from kids themselves to their mum. Reason was they wanted to arise earlier than me to prepare breakfast. Oh, so sweet. It warmed my heart to know they, as young as they are also seek to be a blessing by serving others.

I was reminded of the words of the psalmist, "...children a reward from him." Psalm 127:3

The simple invite to stay in bed longer somehow ease the anxiety of the rush in the morning; trying to beat the clock. I had every reason to take my time as I was told not to be found in the kitchen or for that matter, up from bed!

True to their words, they arose earlier than usual. I was greeted with smiles and eager faces, "Mum, you are just in time. Breakfast ready." There laid toasted bread and my instant coffee and their own portions. Another portion ready in the oven for dad whose still in bed :)

It was a pleasant kick off for the day. A sense of accomplishment was in them as they got the day started instead of mum. For me, it was a celebration of motherhood.
edlina & the lynns
Nat's birthday is coming!!! Everyone in the house is so excited for her as she is going to turn 8. Some of us were visiting shops and outlets spending time to pick out something nice for her. Monday morning is here, just one more day to go. Whoops were let out around the house. As ee ee came to work we decided to go to Roller Sports World (A skating rink at QueensbayMall) to celebrate her birthday. We were thirilled. We were so excited so we did our schoolwork and took a nap. After our nap we set off to the mall to have great fun. We skated for at least 3 whole hours there. I was very tired. When I came out I figured that I had some blisters on my foot. That hurt a lot. I could not walk very well, still it was worth it. My ee ee, koo koo, and I gave her a watch set that can change straps and rings(or rims if you prefer it that way). My ah ma and kong kong gave her a fairy stenciling book and a set of hairclips. My parents gave her a pink leather dairy. My litte sister,Chrisalynn gave her a football pen. My grandpa and Aunty Lily gave her a tiara and a beaded bracelet. I am very sure that Nat enjoyed opening all her wonderful gifts. The next day was her real birthday, but because of the skating my mum let us sleep longer. But I think Nat was too excited that she woke me up as well. I went downstairs very sleepily, I thought that mum had asked her to wake me up; but when I came downstairs mum's reply was I thought you wanted to sleep longer. I said,"But I thought that you sent Nat to wake me up." "You can go back sleep if you want" she replied. I went upstairs but could not go back to sleep anymore, even though I was still tired. I lay on my bed and tossed and turned. I was very angry with Nat that time, I felt like sceaming at her but I told myself not to spoil her special day. Well, even though I sometimes get really angry at her I think she is a MIRACLE to me and the whole family. NAT, I LOVE YOU.