26 Oct 2016

Some recent art

Some recent random art work\

Painting with only three colours. Yellow, Blue and Brown.

I painted this picture to accompany and inspire Jo to get back to some art work. (watercolour)

Jo's art work. Acrylic.

@poundthegarlic.blogspot.com 2016

Workshop on SMA

We recently attended a workshop about Living with SMA (Spinal Muscular Atrophy). The workshop was conducted by Sook Yee, her husband Edmund and her dear son Branden. Though I've heard of ALS, I've never heard of SMA, and it was certainly an eye opening workshop worth attending. It helped us understand the challenges of living with a disability, and it gave us a glimpse of parental courage, love and hope.  I'm amazed at the courage and zeal of Branden's parents, how they continually bring awareness to the public, and how they continuously find ways to help Branden, never giving up and always hopeful.

Here children were asked to scratch their ear while pulling a tight elastic band. It was certainly difficult to bring their hands up to the ear. Understanding how difficult it is for people living with SMA to use their hands effectively.

Branden going round tickling the children who were not allowed to move, scratch or fidget. It was to help them understand how it would be, being in the "shoes"of Branden. He has such an infectious laughter and smile. Children warmed up to him immediately.

Several weeks later, we were invited by Branden's mum to help out at their Arts for Grabs booth. The sale was to raise funds for We Care Journey an organization to help bring awareness and help other people with SMA.
Jo did her part by helping to paint a bag which would then be sold to raise funds, while Nel helped to hand out leaflets containing information about SMA.

To find out more about how you could help Branden, or to understand more about what it's like, living with SMA, you can find them on their facebook page Branden -Growing up with SMA.

@poundthegarlic.blogspot.com 2016

Nel is a Spartan SPrint finisher!

Two years ago Nel and Jo took part in the junior Spartan race.

This year suddenly she decided that she wanted to try Spartan Sprint for adults. The website estimated that the race would be about 6 km, but turns out it was 8km. She barely trained, but in the final week she managed a few monkey bars practices, one or two jogging sessions where she huffed and puffed away.

The morning of the race came, and I was a little anxious wondering if she'd be able to finish the course safely.

Here's a post I wrote on facebook :

When my first girl was younger she had some problems with coordination. She was also such a timid child that throughout kindergarten n primary one she would hide in toilets during games n sports time. 
When we began homeschooling.. I found her a kind and understanding ballet teacher, I taught her swimming, cycling and we began going for jungle hikes in hopes that all these would help her. 
Today she took part in the adult Spartan sprint.. I have to admit I was nervous for her... She took 4hours but she is a Spartan finisher!! So proud of her!!
It shows never under estimate a child.. And a child can overcome her fears and 'weaknesses' with time and space to grow.. With gentle guidance and patience... Like waiting for a tree to grow.

Anyway, she finished the race! She's a Spartan Finisher, and I'm so PROUD OF YOU NEL!

@poundthegarlic.blogspot.com 2016

11 Oct 2016

Painting Murals

We were invited recently to help out with a green project at our community. It involved painting mural for a recycling center. We always jump at the chance to do art, any sort of art!! Most of the painting was done at night and we really had fun doing it.

Nel painting a deer

Jo's Fairy bird

Surprise surprise, I found out that hubby can paint!!!!

I thought I'd add a hornbill

@poundthegarlic.blogspot.com 2016

Jo sews her first doll

Jo is in the process of making a doll.

Making basic shape using stockings, stuffing and string

The head of her first ever hand made. Great attempt! and a good practice at patience. To learn how
to make it, she viewed quite a few videos on doll making, mainly the Waldorf way.

Watching her make a doll inspired me to try one too. In this family Art is "infectious". When I begin an art work, my children want to do one too. And when they begin an art project, I too get inspired to begin one. Here's my version, but not a stocking version. I learnt this by watching a series of video by Anneli Võikar \

The first half of my doll's hair was sewn by Jo. I was going to do it the shortcut way, just stitch a bunch of hair together to get it done. She stopped me and said, "Strand by strand mum." To lead the way, she stitched the first half. Attaching a video below. (I realize that video attachments don't turn up on emailed link.)

@poundthegarlic.blogspot.com 2016

7 Oct 2016

Aquatic Educational Workshop UCSI

Our kids from coop recently emailed  UCSI requesting for a workshop at their aquatic center. They thought it'd be a nice review to all the materials they've learnt about marine science in the past 4 months.

After the session I asked my kids for feedback. Their feedback was that they enjoyed the classroom environment and quizzes. They enjoyed observing the tanks there. However, the found the material taught much too simple and suitable for much younger children, though they stated that it was for older children.  The facilitators (students from the marine and biotech department) were friendly and enthusiastic. Unfortunately, they were mainly biotech students, and could not answer quite a few questions thrown at them.  So perhaps it would have been better if the workshop had been conducted by marine science students instead.

We did pre mention that the kids had already studied a marine science textbook. Perhaps they somehow forgot. After the workshop, we asked if they'd do one that would match secondary level and they said it was possible. So hoping to go back there for a better session. Overall, despite the minor setbacks, the children enjoyed themselves.

Spot the Octopus

Aquatic Junior Educational Program
Charges: Registration (Per child) = RM 10.00

Educational Aquaponic Kit (Per family) = RM60.00   (We found this expensive, and not worth the money, as the children were simply asked to connect a few parts together (two tubes, a small plastic tank and a little motor), given kangkung seeds and two fish. Explanation was very simple and short.

Jessie Lai jess_yuensie@hotmail.com

@poundthegarlic.blogspot.com 2016

10 Aug 2016

Zaini's Guesthouse

We spent three days at Zaini's Resort in Janda Baik, hoping to watch the Perseids. Unfortunately on both nights, though we saw quite a few stars (just the brightest ones), it just wasn't clear enough to see meteors. We were 6 families, and so we booked most of Zaini's guest house.

The ClubHouse at Zaini's, which we booked, was the main hangout area for all the kids. Initially it was booked for two families and four children, but of course, all the kids wanted to bunk together, so we ended up with 14 people in this spacious guesthouse. We all lined up pretty much like sardines, adults in a row, children in two rows, girls one side, boys on the other.

The "ClubHouse" which housed 15 of us.

Add caption

The children mostly hung out here to play board and card games.

Nel enjoying a read by the narrow, fenceless balcony.

The large field where the kids played Capture the Flag.

On the first night we lay there watching stars till 2 am. Alas no perseids,  but while lying there on our mats we heard a loud crash. A friend shone his powerful torch and we all spotted an owl with a mouse in it's beak. Whoah! That made the wait outside worth it. By 2 am..when clouds wouldn't part we went to bed.

Since it was Jo's birthday, hubby who only arrived at night brought a surprise cake for Jo, so there in that cold weather we sang happy birthday to her and feasted on moist chocolate cake.

A short but refreshing getaway.:)
To book, I texted Ciku at the number below.
Mobile Tel (Cik Ciku): +6013 969 5592 

@poundthegarlic.blogspot.com 2016

9 Aug 2016

Revisiting Endau Rompin, Selai

We had a lovely week away at Endau Rompin, Selai. Since we camped there way back in 2010 we've been wanting to do a return trip but just never did because we were exploring other sites.

How blessed we were when we discovered that other campers for the days we were there had canceled their reservations and we'd be the only campers there for the week. We were just three families consisting of 8 children, and that size is just nice for a relaxing getaway. Good food, close company, shooting stars and peaceful river all to ourselves. What more could we ask for.

To book, email erselaijnpc@yahoo.com 
On day of arrival, head to the office in Bekok, sign in and pay.
If you have your own 4WD, you'll save money on transport.

**Sadly we discovered that the other side of the river has been heavily logged by illegal loggers. The forest rangers told us they couldn't do anything about it.  That's so sad to know! I hope enforcements will try to stop further logging before we loose this very very beautiful forest. Here's a video I took by our campsite. You'll notice the gaps between trees as the area behind has been totally logged.
Yet listen to the beautiful song of the gibbons. I awoke everyday at 5 am to their song which would go on till sunrise and then they'd stop.

Daily hangout area. The children especially would stay there almost the whole day singing, creating stories and chatting.

Our daily visitors

Each day we were there it threatened to storm. But God was good, each time we'd pray and then watch the storm clouds move away. We were blessed with sunshine for our entire stay. And finally it rained just as we left the place. God is good.

We paid for one rod. But it sure was tough....the fish wouldn't take our bait.

The kids' favourite rock...where they'd eat...write their journals...read a book..chat.

A resident got really brave. Looks like they're used to having visitors around.

@poundthegarlic.blogspot.com 2016


17 Jul 2016

Nel's Ballet Performance

Nel's ballet teacher challenged her students to choreograph their own ballet performance for this year's concert. Out of the many students in the class, 5 chose to take up the challenge, and one of them was Nel. I'm so proud of her. She and her dance partner, J, took about 3 months to choreograph and perfect it. It was tough going at first as this was a new experience. So I sat with her initially picking the right song, counting out bars and phrases, discussing steps, working on accuracy.

Eventually they took off and worked independently....with a bit of pushing and prodding from me along the way. We had fun shopping for the right dress, buying make up, and sequins to decorate the dress. Lots of hard work, but it all paid off. Beautiful dance!!

Am so proud of her. My girl who has mostly been too shy to even stand before a tiny group of audience took this challenge and danced before a full house at DPAC. Bravo Nel!!

@poundthegarlic.blogspot.com 2016


5 Jun 2016

Science Co-Op Marine Creatures

This term at Science Co-op we've been studying about water creatures. For one of the classes, a parent bought frogs from a restaurant for the kids to dissect. Yeah these frogs were meant to be cooked (deep fried, or boiled in soup). A little grossed out by the idea at first, but eventually they got really hands on.

Female Frog..look at the eggs

egg through the microscope

During one of the sessions, kids played outside after class and rescued a Quail which had its legs tied up with plastic bags.
Apparently it was the grass cutter's, but the kids decided to rescue the poor bird by grabbing it and running with all their might to rescue the bird. It was quite hard untying the tight knots around its legs but the bird was quite calm and allowed us to help it. After  observing it a while and making sure it was fit to fly, we brought it to a forest area nearby and released it. What a wonderful adventure.
Video of the release below. Video taken by Nel.

@poundthegarlic.blogspot.com 2016

More art work

Mine merging batik pieces and acrylic with some broken shells

Jo's a mermaid face t o face with a turtle

Nel's stack of hand made cards

Jo wondering how it feels like to move like a turtle :p

@poundthegarlic.blogspot.com 2016

Tambun Cave Ipoh

Upon the invitation of a friend, we visited Tambun Cave. We've always wanted to go, but the dates never matched. Well finally it did!

It was a great learning experience. Phd students from USM led our group and provided interesting facts and info about the caves. We also took part in two interesting activities which were, 1) Map out on a chart where the cave drawings are, and 2) create a cave drawing on plaster boards provided.
Twas a great learning experience!

 To go on one of their trips, watch out for announcements on the Gua Tambun Heritage Awareness FB Page.

@poundthegarlic.blogspot.com 2016
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